RARA-AVIS: Re: can noir writers advocate social reform?

From: Juri Nummelin ( juri.nummelin@pp.inet.fi)
Date: 24 Nov 2006


> I assume that novelists who can
> be called noir, like Cain, McCoy, Algren, Dahlberg, Fante, or
> Benjamin Appel are not social reformers or proletarian novelists
inciting to
> social change, and that social reformers like James T Farrell,
John Dos
> Passos or Michael Gold, however much they deal with evil, the
> underclass, and political corruption, cannot be considered noir or
> hardboiled. Does this distinction make sense?

I believe this is just what the Marxist theorists meant when they said that this kind of gloomy, pessimistic literature - or pessimism and nihilism themselves - cannot do good for the mankind, but only makes the readers more passive toward the society. It's essentially the same thing that Georg Lukacs said about Franz Kafka.

Hope I'm not opening Pandora's box again. :)


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