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

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 26 Nov 2006

Jim wrote:

My position, and, if I'm reading he responses correctly, the group consensus is, advocating social reform does not render a work that would otherwise be regarded as hard-boiled/noir something OTHER than hard-boiled/noir.
  Or am I misinterpreting the responses?

************* I agree with you, Jim. Whether a book advocates
"social reform" or not has nothing to do with whether it is noir or hardboiled.

I think the question comes into play because a common theme in noir is the inevitable doom of the protagonist. If "social reform" is suggested as a solution, the doom is not so inevitable. The ambiguity is worth noting, and even noir writers can't seem to figure out what they are saying. Sallis, in his nonfiction book about three noir writers, declares the doom of the protagonist on one page and his hope for salvation through "social reform" on another. Let them eat cake. And have it, too.


____________________________________________________________________________________ Cheap talk? Check out Yahoo! Messenger's low PC-to-Phone call rates.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 26 Nov 2006 EST