Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: noir

Date: 01 Oct 2005


Re your comments below:

> Why he should choose those particular set of
> experts, and not earlier
> critics and others who used such terms as roman
> noir, or others who
> followed (excluding moi, of course) who saw other
> things as well, I don't
> know, but it is still valuable input.

Because that's the root of how the term came to be used in the crime genre. If they coined it as a term used to identify a particular kind of mystery, then it follows that their usage is the correct usage, because they were the first to use it. The parameters they set are the parameters most people still use. So, if you use the word to mean something much more restrictive, it follows that you must be using it incorrectly.
> Noir, like any form of writing, is a creative
> activity and it's going to
> evolve and change, and be hard to categorize
> precisely. Has a certain
> writer transcended noir, or extended it? To discuss
> such things is just
> another way of considering the writer's work.

Writing is a creative activity, but categorizing a piece of writing isn't, unless you allow yourself to get bogged down in a lot os intellectual bullshit that really doesn't have anything to do with the question.

As the folks at Gallimard used it, and as it's been used since, noir is ALREADY got pretty extensive parameters. In fact that's what you say your problem with their use is, it's TOO extensive, so why is a writer "extending the definition" a good thing, from your perspective. My impression is that you're one of those who wants it tight and narrow. And why is noir something that has to be "transcended" anyway? Is it some kind of trap the writer has to escape from?



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