Re: RARA-AVIS: Does Hardboiled Have a Philosophy?

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 15 May 2005

This is a good question. In the majority of hardboiled detective stories you'll find a philosophy that flaunts vigilantism, with the end justifying the means.

Someone suggested that the noir and hardboiled philosophies are similar. Well, hardboiled to me implies tough, and noir implies screwed, so I see a big potential for a significant difference in the range of implied philosophies. Noir oftentimes is associated with a pessimistic determinism, a lack of power to exert any meaningful control over life. Opposed to this, almost all hardboiled detective stories involve the detective effecting significant control over the outcome.



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