RARA-AVIS: Re: corpses

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 01 Sep 2006


Re your comment below:

"As we all know, Chandler wrote that Hammet 'gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse.' The above strikes me as ancillary to that: hardboiled/noir gave corpses back their lives, so they were real people, not just puzzle pieces."

That strikes me as the real crux of the thing. Murderers in traditional mysteries killed people for reasons, too, and, if the characters had been believable, rather than stick figures pushed around a puzzle board, they probably would have seemed like believable motives.

What hard-boiled/noir did (and this is not to say that there were NEVER traditional mysteries that did the same thing) was create people you could believe in, so that when they killed, or were killed, you could believe the reasons for the deaths.


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