RARA-AVIS: Re: Humor and irony in noir

From: Dave Zeltserman ( davezelt@comcast.net)
Date: 22 Oct 2004

Jim Thompson has a lot of dark humor mixed into his best noir books. I find some of the stuff funny as hell.

-Dave Z.

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Michael Robison
<miker_zspider@y...> wrote:
> Karin Montin wrote:
> Whereas humour is commonly held to be a redeeming
> feature of either the noir hero or the noir book.
> That's what I learned from a panel at Bouchercon.
> *************
> Humor has been a frequent element in noir since its
> inception. It comes in several flavors. Although it
> can be of a bawdy nature like the funeral scene in
> Faulkner's SANCTUARY, more often it emanates from a
> cruel irony that seals the fate of a doomed
> protagonist. After escaping a bona fide murder rap,
> Frank's murder conviction for Cora's accidental death
> in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE is a good example.
> So is Stanton Carlisle's eventual demotion to the job
> title that he so openly despises at the beginning of
> It has been suggested that literature sporting irony
> is more sophisticated than works lacking it. I'm not
> sure if I agree with this or not. I sorta lean
> towards thinking that irony is simply another literary
> device in an author's bag of tricks, but I definitely
> find irony in noir aesthetically satisfying and
> downright entertaining.
> Charles Willeford did more for noir humor than any
> other writer I have read.
> miker
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Oct 2004 EDT