RARA-AVIS: Re: noirs

From: George C. Upper III ( gcupper3@yahoo.com)
Date: 25 Mar 2006

Bill wrote
> Have their been any noir or HB works directly inspired by, or
> stories from the Bible?

Stephen King's GREEN MILE is a retelling of the gospels. John Coffee has miraculous healing powers, he's killed for a crime of which he's innocent, etc. GREEN MILE is also, if not noir, at least pretty dark. However, I haven't read the book; my comments are based on the film version, though I've been told that the film represents the book relatively faithfully.

Note also Coffee's initials--as an English teacher, I've learned to pay close attention to any character with the initials J.C.; they often represent some sort of messiah or savior figure. (A well-known example is Jim Casey in GRAPES OF WRATH.)

To the writers on the list: someone certainly ought to re-write King David's life as a noir. He's a great hero, but with serious flaws of his own. His own family plots against him. His son Amnon rapes his own sister, Tamar. Come on, where's James Cain when you need him?
(And note his initials too...hmmmm...but perhaps I'm taking this a little far.)

And speaking of James M. Cain and incest, Bill's question includes other ancient literature. Signet Books included an explanation of Cains' THE BUTTERFLY as being "a modern version of the Oedipus myth." However, although the book has something to do with incest, I don't see it as having much to do with Oedipus beyond that. I suspect that the publisher was trying to pre-empt critics who would question the morality of the novel by tying to an established classic.


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