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

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 25 Oct 2004

Michael Robison :

>Etienne wrote <snipped>:
>I'm personally convinced that Chandler is noir and did
>noir in part of his writing, but he did not know
>it.... His noir is of course heavily loaded with
>hard-boiled attitude.
>Do you consider "Pop. 1280" as a farce?
>The belief that Chandler is noir is strongly held, so
>you don't need to be shy about it. I've got a book by
>William Marling (I think he might have been a
>rara-avis member in the past) called AMERICAN NOIR:
>I haven't read POP. 1280, so I can't weigh in on it as
>farce, but all genres are open to farce. In the noir
>category, Vian's I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and Hallas's YOU
>suggested as parodies or farces.
>Oh. I hope I got your first name spelled right. I
>didn't see it spelled out in the post.
Miker, You got my first name right, no problem. I'm sure I'm not alone thinking Chandler is noir. On the other hand, when I say that HB is a part of the noir territory that's where I risk some "boohoos"; but I'm deeply convinced about this kind of approach, a point of view which could be documented looking at he essence and roots of noir.

If you didn't read Thompson's "Pop. 1280" yet, do not wait longer. Rush. It's one of the great texts of American noir. My remark about being a farce was made tongue in cheek as there is a lot of noir humor and derision in this classic, but it's not intended to be a funny book.
 IMO it's one of the very rare (and successful) works of the noir mystery novel genre having a real metaphysical resonnance.

But of course the genre is also full of parodies, pastiches, farces and nonsense novels, no doubt about this. Cosmic Banditos being one of them. Some others can have noir humor as only goal...

Etienne Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 25 Oct 2004 EDT