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

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 24 Nov 2006

Except, of course, that dark and sinister atmospherics, while often employed in noir, are not the defining characteristic of noir.


At 10:38 AM 24/11/2006 -0800, you wrote:

>Re your question below:
>"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 criminal underclass, and political
>corruption, cannot be considered noir or hardboiled.
>Does this distinction make sense?"
>No, it doesn't.
>Hard-boiled is about attitude and style, not politics.
>Noir is about tone and atmosphere, not politics.
>If it's tough and colloquial, it's hard-boiled.
>If it's dark and sinister, it's noir.
>If it's tough and colloquial, AND dark and sinister,
>it's hard-boiled AND noir.
>If it's any of those things, and the writer has a
>political ax to grind, either right-wing or left-wing,
>then it's hard-boiled, or noir, or hard-boiled AND
>noir, with either a right-wing ax to grind, or a
>left-wing ax to grind.
>In other words, that the writer may be considered a
>social reformer, or may consider himself a social
>reformer, doesn't enter into the equation.
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.

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