Re: RARA-AVIS: On Post 9/11 Noir

From: Vincent F. A. Golphin (
Date: 29 Jun 2005

I don't know that noir is always about a reaction to war, but I liked what was said about darkness and disappointment. Those factors seem to be the spur to increasing wave of "street lit" authors. The emerging genre, which seems to gain some respect now that white-owened publishers are picking up some of the bestselling authors, seeks to make sense of black ghetto life. The stories about drugs, prostitution, violence and prison are an indication for a style of novel that is more authentic to the African American mass culture, and a reaction to the ongoing struggle to survive in a rracist, capitalist system. I guess that is a kind of war.

vincent f. a. golphin

--- Tim Wohlforth <> wrote:

> To answer Brian Thorton. You are right. I was not
> clear. I wanted to
> draw a parallel to the whole WWII-Immediate Post
> WWII period to the
> whole Post 9/11 period which continues. It seems to
> me the original noir
> was one reaction to the darkness of war and the
> disappointments of its
> immediate aftermath. The musical and other Hollywood
> fluff was another
> reaction (and to the Depression that preceded the
> war.) And so today we
> have both fluff, cozies, escapist "Reality " shows
> based on becoming
> Donald Trump's assistant and Mystic River, and other
> dark works.
> The question to probe is why the noir? Why the
> escapism is a no
> brainer. There seems to be a need to probe darkness
> in a dark period.
> Cathartic like telling ghost stories late at night
> in a house in the
> woods as a small child. Maybe its like clearing the
> throat with cool
> water after a dose of a saccharine-laced drink.
> Perhaps to find, if only
> in a highly individualistic way, a partial way out
> of darkness, a
> triumph of the good on a small human scale. Maybe we
> sense a need to try
> to understand the dark side of the human experience
> since it manifests
> itself so strongly around us.
> But it is pervasive. Take the latest Star Wars,
> Batman Begins, Sin City,
> Dogtown.

RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Jun 2005 EDT