RARA-AVIS: "a working class tragedy"

From: Frederick Zackel ( fzackel@wcnet.org)
Date: 24 Sep 2005

Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" is certainly a working class tragedy. That Everyman sense was one of JS's hallmark. And I always see Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp on the lam from murdering some blind skirt's old man. (I think that's Cain's "Postman," actually.) Can we consider "The Grapes of Wrath" noir then? And whether "The Maltese Falcon," which both begins bored-stiff in the office and ends bored-stiff in the same office, is the working class tragedy of a man who makes $25 a day....that seems like a stretch.

How about "noir is naturalistic tragedy"?

For some of rara-avians Canadians, the principal theme of Canadian Lit (as outlined by Margaret Atwood in her non-fiction book "Survival," 1972) is the relationship of society to its landscape. That the Canadian psyche is indelibly stamped by living in a vast, sparsely populated, inhospitable land that will kill you if you simply stand still. "You're gonna freeze in hell forever," that sounds noir to me. Just by being Canadian, one becomes noir?

Best wishes,

Frederick Zackel

the boogie man
-- born in Bethlehem -- lies waiting for his moment...
"I don't think this kid has any conscience," said the Man. O'Keeffe said, "You play the cards you're dealt."

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