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

From: Patrick King (
Date: 24 Nov 2006

But what about Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment? If it is not the first noir novel, it is certainly a novel that influenced ALL of the noir novelists as well as their "serious" counterparts. Crime & Punishment is a herald of the coming revolution. In it the middle class are depicted has living 2 families to an apartment. Nothing can be more pessimistic, nor have given Marxism in Russia a wider open door.
--- Juri Nummelin <> wrote:

> Jay:
> > 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?
> 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. :)
> Juri

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