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

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 27 Nov 2006

Kerry J. Schooley wrote:

Transcendence is impossible, but that does not make it any less appealing. That is another view of the central human dilemma.

*********** Maybe you've got high expectations for transcendence, but in the noir world, just getting out free and alive with all your body parts is pretty close. That happens in The Big Clock, The Black Dahlia, and The Big Heat.

Not everybody in noir is doomed. Doom is mostly reserved for the protagonist and a few others within the perimeter. There is almost always particular scenes that accentuate those outside the noir perimeter, those not swimming in the abyss. That's perfectly understandable, of course. If everybody is in the shitter, then it's nothing special.

In most noirs, the protagonist is doomed because of immoral actions, a lack of personal integrity.


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