Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Humor and irony in noir

Date: 22 Oct 2004

"True, we're usually talking what is called "black" humour here, fittingly enough. (How about a debate defining black humour?)"

Richard Pryor?

Although that's a joke, much of his humor is based on laughing at life's absurdities, as is much of the humor in noir. We all seem to agree that Willeford was funny -- what was that great quote of his about the comedy in the darkness of life? But, personally, I find humor all over noir. Irony seems to be a defining characteristic of modern noir (and didn't you once make that claim, Mario, in asserting Willeford was the first true writer of modern noir? Are we, perhaps, not defining humor in the same way?). Serpert's Tail and Do Not Press seem to specialize in it.

I laugh out loud all the time while reading Ken Bruen, Joe Lansdale, Jason Starr and, most recently, Charlie WiIliams's Deadfolk. Sometimes I'm laughing with the characters, as they joke instead of whistling past their graves; other times I laugh at the characters. For instance, Royston Blake, Head Doorman of Hoppers, as he constantly reminds us, has a hilariously inflated view of himself in Deadfolk. It's hard not to laugh at the increasing disconnect between it and how he is really handling his life.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Oct 2004 EDT