Re: [SPAM] RARA-AVIS: Manchette

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 04 Nov 2005

At 01:59 PM 04/11/2005 -0800, you wrote:

>To answer your question Kerry, no, I didn't really intend the Manifesto as
>political call to arms. At least not in the sense that it calls for the
>embracing of a particular political ideology.

No, I didn't take it that way either.

>That said, I do think I agree with the notion -- which both you and Steve
>seem to be expressing, though in different terms--that almost every story
>expresses a social and political value system, even if it pretends
>otherwise, or does so at some metalevel, unconscious to its creators.

I'm not sure I can accept that idea anymore, that these things are at an unconscious level. Not in the post-modern era. Not after 1984 and its continued application. Not with every school from the local day--care to Harvard Business School bragging about turning out future leaders. If there are to be leaders, there must be followers. My sense is that inherited hierarchies are understood and largely accepted, or at least accept the propaganda is that the hierarchies might as well be accepted because there is no real alternative anymore.

So when you said that "crime fiction is no longer the revolutionary medium it once was, but rather propaganda for the status quo," and called for a change, I took that to be a political statement. As such, I found it quite exciting. I may decide to continue to misconstrue you intentions.

>I guess what I find intriguing about Manchette and some of the other
>writers I mention in "Noir Manifesto" is the way they use and/or abuse
>genre conventions to crash through the social and literary codes that
>predetermine meaning--and free us, however briefly, from those
>And, as Mark mentions, they are great reads.

Of course. Just like The Confession. That's the first requirement.

Best, Kerry

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