Re: RARA-AVIS: Kafka

From: Jacques Debierue (
Date: 17 Feb 2005

--- In, "Kerry J. Schooley" <gsp.schoo@m...> wrote:
> At 10:15 PM 12/02/2005 -0700, you wrote:
> >Jack said, "As for Kafka? He is not only noir 'ish.' He's flat out noir
> >but with a fantasy twist."
> It may be redundant to say so, but noir is a sub-genre of crime fiction.
> Forget that and the cat is so long out of the bag that every kitten begins
> to look alike.

I disagree. Noir need not involve a crime. To be sure, there must be something threatening, but it can be self-inflicted or just in the head of the characters. The threat may be anything, from a crushing bureaucracy that destroys dignity and hope (as in Kafka's work) to drug- or alcohol-induced fantasies that destroy the protagonist. Noir reaches quite far. Dino Buzzati's masterpiece, _The Desert of the Tartars_, is noir, as is Adolfo Bioy Casare's _Adventures of a Photographer in La Plata_. There are no crimes, but the atmosphere is ominous, and the doings, rummy all the way to nightmarish.
> And while it may be Hard Boil that's working class, noir too looks at the
> world, especially the exercise of power, from the bottom up. Correct me if
> I'm wrong, but might not even Captains be existentialists?

I don't think hardboiledness has to do mainly with class. Hardboiled characters can belong to any social class.



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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Feb 2005 EST