RARA-AVIS: Re: Humor and irony in noir

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 22 Oct 2004

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, DJ-Anonyme@w... wrote:

<<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?>>

I think I wrote that Willeford is a sort of postmodern noirist -- there is a wink to the reader, who becomes an accomplice. There is a difference between reading The Woman Chaser as a pure drama of self-destruction --really believing in the auto salesman and his predicament-- and reading it with the awareness that it's half-parody. I read it as half-parody, therefore I am an accomplice of Willeford's. The author still manages to maintain the necessary tension, but it's punctuated by his winks. For me, the biggest wink of all is when the guy performs a sensual dance with his mother, to Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra if I remember correctly!

There are lots of these winks in The Burnt Orange Heresy; in that case, the book reads to me as pure comedy, from the name of Figueras to the vacuous and pretentious critical jargon he spurts periodically.

Now I need to repair my frame.

Jacques Debierue

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