From: Tim Wohlforth ( tim@timwohlforth.com)
Date: 29 Sep 2005

Words evolve through usage. While a case can be made that in
"traditional" (e.g. James Caan) noir the protagonist is doomed. However, I challenge anyone to take any of the recent noir anthologies , the Akashic ones, the Plots With Guns, the many books called by publishers and reviewers "noir" and prove that a majority of these stories fit this definition. The term was changed, its meaning, rightly or wrongly, widened. Today "noir" simply means a "dark" story. It is a view of the world as a dark place that all these stories share.

I would refer you also to David Corbett's piece on existentialism in the current "Reflections of a Private Eye." In the existentialist view the world is chaotic, lacking in any meaning other than the meaning a person creates for himself through his actions. That's noir. The protagonist in such stories is no more doomed than we all are. If you excuse the sexist language, "Man's Fate."

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