Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir is not for everybody

From: James R. Winter (
Date: 28 Sep 2005

"If we remove universality from the definition of noir, what have we got left to separate this genre from other crime-writing? "

Because not everyone in a noir story is screwed, just the main character or a central group of character. Obviously, noir is as much about POV as it is outlook or atmospherics. If you move to hardboiled, somebody's usually screwed in that, too. In fact, it's often after the screwing* when those particular stories pickup.

Plus, a lot of times, there is a belief running through a noir story that everyone is screwed, but clearly, not everyone in the story is. Unless you assume everyone dies eventually** equals screwed.

Re: self-help. Often times in real life, self help books cause a lot of those bad moral choices. I'd say self help books are very noir. Or can cause noir.

Jim Winter

*And sometimes during, but that's a different type of screwing.

**Except me. I'm too stubborn to die.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Sep 2005 EDT