Re: RARA-AVIS: Tragedy Vs. Noir

From: Robert Elkin (
Date: 30 Sep 2005

Hi All-- I've heard from several sources (no guarantee this is correct) that the use of "noir" as a definitive comes from French criticism's treatment of Woolrich's series of "black" novels--bride wore black, black alibi, rendezvous en black, etc.--if this is so, might we not hold those texts as an index of just exactly what
"noir" might be, strictly speaking? (Note--I'm not disputing anything anyone's said on the matter lately; any term, given enough time & interest, will of course evolve to meet the needs of use.) Rob

--- wrote:

> Kerry typeth...
> > If Hamlet had acted more decisively but
> unsuccessfully, however, plunging
> > Denmark into decades of civil war, only to be
> conquered by the Netherlands,
> > killing Hamlet, Claudius and the rest of the
> Danish royals and enslaving
> > the Danes to build dykes against the North Sea,
> well, that would have been
> > noir.
> Ok, so the distinction is that in noir you are
> screwed despite your choices. The protagonist can't
> win because there is too much chaos in the way?
> --
> Clendon

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