Re: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Name Your Poison

From: Allan Guthrie (
Date: 30 Aug 2006

I know of at least three vegetarians on the list. Don't know about any ecologists, rabbis, etc.

No sure about this 'implicit quest for good against evil'. The best noir reveals complexity of character rather than polarising good and evil.

Entertainment may not be the final goal, but it has to be the primary goal. If the reader isn't entertained sufficiently by the story, they're not going to turn the pages so any loftier ambition won't be realised.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: E. Borgers
  Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 12:21 PM
  Subject: RE : Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Name Your Poison

  Ask the ecologists, the vegetarians for your list !
  Even rabbis, mahometans, hindus, if you have enough time...

  Nothing coming from humans is innocent.
  Reality is a myth as we all know, and IMO good fiction uses a part of it to reach something of a higher order. Maybe "natural" moral, not a systematized one as organizations, states, religions try to impose.
  The best fiction carries something of the same essence as poetry: more than the written word, speaking to the "feelings", in noir and others of exceptional quality IMO it touches the same inner area in the person as metaphysics do.

  On the other hand, very few things are universal, the same for all humans. The list is short: life and death, fear, love, basic psychology and instincts... Good and bad is also a constant, but outside its "natural" essence, application is always a manipulation by society.
  So speaking of morality in fiction is a double level of speculations, entering the territory of highly speculative ideas. In noir lit. the implicit quest for good against evil is something constant, its existential essence, what is found behind the transgressions or the apparent follow up of a "clasic" moral code (product of a society).
  And I'm not convince at all that "entertainment" is the final goal of lit.
  My views on this "moral" issue.


  Allan Guthrie
  I can see how you can derive a moral theme from a shopping list (bread, milk, handcuffs, tape, spade), if you're so inclined, but that's -- as I said before -- the reader's interpretation. It's very far from giving a moral lesson. A lesson requires intent on the part of the author to instruct the reader.

  Long live ambiguity,

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