RARA-AVIS: Existentialism and Harboiled fiction

From: Bludis Jack ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 18 May 2005

Not being a philopopher of the PhD variety, I have been following our conversation on Existentialism.

It would seem to me that, at least in hardboiled fiction, if a lead character does not mention God, he is functionally an existentialist. Although I don't think that belief in God and an existentialist philosophy are muturally exclusive.

In a sense, isn't existentialism the philosophy of "do the right thing, no matter who's looking?"

In noir, it seems that characters set out to "do the right thing for me." Kind of a poor man's Ayn Rand. It often works for the intelligent but hardly ever works for the dummy or the careless.

Jack Bludis

http://www.jackbludis.com -- updated
"Shadow of the Dahlia" now at BN.com
"Shadow" has been nominated for a Shamus

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