RARA-AVIS: Re: noir

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 11 Oct 2005

Not to interfere with the hugs, but I think the distinction between noir and hardboiled is useful; more importantly, the difference is real. Anyone comparing Chandler's _The Big Sleep_ with Willeford's _The Burnt Orange Heresy_ or David Goodis's _Cassidy's Girl_ or Jim Thompson's _The Killer Inside Me_ (or with the work of Harrington and Jason Starr, to speak of currently active writers), can see that there is a difference in kind, not in degree. Likewise, there is a difference between a film like _Point Blank_ (ultrahardboiled) and a film like _The Conversation_ (quintessential noir). However, the film noir category and the novel noir category do not coincide even when the same novel is adapted faithfully.

Yes, the two genres --or perhaps the two ways of writing character and story-- do overlap often enough, but for me they remain distinct. One example where hardboiled and noir mix perfectly is Charles Williams's masterpiece _The Hot Spot_. It is hardboiled because its characters are; it it noir because the situations, the setting and the author's machinations make it so.



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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 11 Oct 2005 EDT