Re: RARA-AVIS: comic noir as black humor (was hardboiled comedy)

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 08 Mar 2005

At 03:32 PM 07/03/2005 -0700, you wrote:

>This begs the question: If noir represents the tragic view of the
>universe, the idea of "comic noir" is a contradiction in terms.

I'd like to add to the other responses that noir does not represent the tragic view of the universe. Tragedy is the failure to transcend specific human circumstance, usually character flaws, but allows the romantic view that such transcendence is not only possible, but desirable. Noir precludes the possibility of transcendence, and questions the desirability of attempts to do so. As Jack said: "Screwed," rendering efforts to unscrew ourselves comic.

Comic isn't the same as humourous, but humour does seem to me a characteristic of noir. My question is: is it essential?

Best, Kerry

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