Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: noirs

From: Brandt Dodson (
Date: 22 Mar 2006

Hi George,

Your view of Noir is interesting and, I believe, probably correct to a greater or lesser degree. Like pornography, noir has many definitions but it is also something we all know "when we see it".

My novel, "Original Sin" is published by Harvest House ( a Christian publisher), and features a hardboiled PI named Colton Parker. Colton is a product of the "group" home scenario. Never knew his father, and his mother didn't want him. He was shuttled from home to home and now has a significantly hard time developing relationships. He is, in short, a pot of boiling water with the lid ready to fly off.

"Original Sin" deals with his issues, as well as the case he investigates
(the savage murder of a high school guidance counselor) which leads him to internet pornography, strip clubs, mob activities etc. I wrote it with the "feel" of noir (again, something we all know when we see it), and have tried to stay true to the original format as it was developed by Hammett, Chandler et al. Anything in a 1940's "noir" film, is generally acceptable to a Christian publishing house, including violence. After all, David cut off Goliath's head and you can't get much more violent than that.

I would invite you to read "Original Sin" and email your opinion to me at: or

----- Original Message ----- From: "George C. Upper III" <> To: <> Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 2:58 PM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: noirs

>I have trouble thinking of Christianity as noir, but that's partly a
> result of my definitions of Christianity and noir. (Disclaimer: I
> work as the Principal of a private Christian high school, so I have a
> very specific definition of Christianity.)
> Noir, to me, seems to fit the pattern of "protagonist wins, is
> screwed anyway." (I know we've gone over possible definitions of
> noir and hard-boiled over and over again on this list, and I'm not
> attempting to re-open this line of inquiry.) This is not a
> definition, exactly, but a framework. If a plot fits this framework,
> it is--as far as I'm concerned--noir. Maltese Falcon fits--Spade
> solves the crime (wins), has to give up the girl (is screwed). Many
> of the Travis McGee novels, taken independently, fit this pattern
> pretty well, although I'd argue that the series taken as a whole
> presents a more optimistic view of life.
> Christianity, on the other hand, fits the opposite
> pattern: "protagonist is screwed, wins anyway." I call this
> the "Good Morning, Vietnam" pattern, and for some reason, I hate it
> in fiction--and particularly in film--despite the fact that I think
> it fits my personal beliefs pretty well. The name derives from the
> film, of course, in which Robin Williams loses his personal battle,
> but wins anyway because he has refused to compromise--or some such
> thing.
> So, anyway, I think of Christianity as sort of anti-noir, but, again,
> that statement hinges solely (or dually?) on my definitions of those
> two words.
> I'm in the process of selling my house and moving, so I'll probably
> slip back into lurker mode. But I read the digest daily, and I'd
> love to hear anyone's thoughts on this subject--particularly on a
> name for what I consider the ill-named "Good Morning, Vietnam"
> pattern.
> G.
> RARA-AVIS home page:
> Yahoo! Groups Links

RARA-AVIS home page:
  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 : 22 Mar 2006 EST