RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir is not for everybody

From: Charlie Williams ( cs_will@hotmail.com)
Date: 03 Oct 2005


Great post on existential/existentialism. I sometimes think "existentialism", as a word, is just getting too far away from the root.


--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "E.Borgers" <webeurop@y...> wrote:
> I support most of the declaration Ed Gorman made here on noir.
> His directions are the good ones to try to put words together to
> describe "noir".
> I always, and I suppose I'm not the only one, considered that a
> novel is noir first by the level of existential point of view it
> carries, found in the characters, in the setup or in the look the
> has on the world as described in his novel.
> On the other hand, I saw rather often in the Anglo-Saxon analyses
> comments about noir literature a confusion between existential and
> "existentialism"; the problem is that "existentialism" is also the
> of a philosophical current of the 20th century, with many
variations. By
> saying existential we stay one step above, as -evidently
> -"existentialism" is only one way of treating the existential
> To make it short: it does not have to be "existentialist" (in the
> philosophical sense) to be existential ( a broader sense).
> Therefore Camus, Sartre, Gabriel Marcel, and
other "existentialists"
> (mainly in Europe) are not the necessary references for describing
> giving a definition of Noir.
> Even if some of them expressed their admiration for the then
> American "romans noirs" including some of the mystery/crime genre,
> if some short stories by Sartre are real noir lit (see "Le mur"and
> stories).
> I think that existential is one of the key factor of roman noir.
And of
> film noir.
> So, "existential hero" is a good start.
> E.Borgers
> Hard-Boiled Mysteries
> http://www;geocities.com/Athens/6384
> Polar Noir
> http://www.geocities.com/polarnoir
> ejgorman99@a... a 飲it:
> >I always assumed that the phrase "existential hero" was an apt
description of
> >noir protagonists. But I recently read a piece about Sartre who,
it turns
> >out, felt that existentilism was often a philosphy of joy and
> >
> >I think a lot of this present discussion about noir makes it sound
as if noir
> >is the only possible (or legitimate) way to look at the world. A
piece in the
> >London Sunday Times a few months ago made the point that too much
> >contemporary crime writing makes a "fetish" out of grimness for
its own sake. I agree.
> >It's like the old John Candy-Eugene Levy SCT hillbilly movie
critics who judged
> >all films by how many explosions were in them. "Blowed it up real
good!" if
> >you recall. Darkness for its own sake strikes me as a form of
> >adolescance. Life is too complicated and too ambiguous to be
reduced to "darkness."
> >
> >Ed Gorman
> >
> >
> >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
> >
> >Yahoo! Groups Links
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Get fast access to your favorite Yahoo! Groups. Make Yahoo! your home page http://us.click.yahoo.com/dpRU5A/wUILAA/yQLSAA/kqIolB/TM

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 03 Oct 2005 EDT