RARA-AVIS: Re:noir vision and social injustice

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 27 Nov 2006


Re your comment below:

"If Himes, Goodis, and the writers mentioned in this disucssion believed in or advocated political reform, or if they were dedicated to describing predatory conduct by the haves against the have nots (in crime narratives) they would be radically different works, that we might not think of as noir."

So, if I understand you correctly, you're suggesting that if a work, one that would otherwise be widely regarded as hard-boiled or noir, either advocates political reform or emphasizes predatory behavior by the upper-class against the lower class, that advocacy or emphasis, all by itself, transforms the work into something that is distinct from and wholly outside of the category of hard-boiled or noir.

Why would it automatically do that? Why isn't the work simply noir or hard-boiled that advocates political reform or emphasizes certain predatory behavior on the part of rich folks? Why should the mere presence of the advocacy for a political reformation or the depiction of hateful behavior by people with money, merely by that advocacy or that depiction, take a work outside the parameters of noir or hard-boiled? What is there about noir or hard-boiled that you believe to be antithetical to the advocacy of a political position or the depiction of a class of people?

I grant you that a hard-boiled or noir novel that did that may very well be radically different from a hard-boiled or noir novel that didn't, but surely the hard-boiled or noir styles are broad enough to accomodate novels that are radically different from each other, aren't they?

What makes you think otherwise?


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