RARA-AVIS: The Pleasure of H-B/Noir

From: George C. Upper III ( gcupper3@yahoo.com)
Date: 27 Oct 2005

Without any desire to re-open the can of worms containing the elusive definitions of these terms, I wanted to ask regular readers of these genres why we read them. Do the vicarious experiences of noir heroes / anti-heroes provide a release for the fear and pity, a la Aristotle's Poetics, that we normally bottle up? Are such works "mere" entertainment, in the sense of escapism? Do they somehow inform us about the true nature of the world in which we live? Or do we, perhaps perversely, wish we lived in a world like those of our hard-boiled heroes? (I thought of the Red Diamond, Private Eye trilogy as I wrote that last question. Ironically, Red Diamond was my first introduction to hard-boiled fiction.)

I have my own opinion(s) as to some of this; in part, I guess I'm wondering how commonly-held my opinion might be.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 27 Oct 2005 EDT