RARA-AVIS: Re: On Noir

From: Dave Zeltserman ( davezelt@comcast.net)
Date: 29 Sep 2005


I agree with you. Most of what's published these days as "noir" is as you say, the world as a dark place. To me, a better definiton would be to simply label these as dark crime stories/novels. Most of the stories in the Century of Noir anthology fit the definition you describe. So unfortunately the definition of noir is slowly being watered down, and even more unfortunate, true (traditional) noir is getting harder to find (and even harder to publish!)

Dave Z.

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Tim Wohlforth <tim@t...> wrote:
> Words evolve through usage. While a case can be made that in
> "traditional" (e.g. James Caan) noir the protagonist is doomed.
> I challenge anyone to take any of the recent noir anthologies ,
> Akashic ones, the Plots With Guns, the many books called by
> 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
> 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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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Sep 2005 EDT