Re: RARA-AVIS: noir vision and social injustice

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 28 Nov 2006

At 11:23 PM 26/11/2006 -0500, you wrote:

>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.

Agreed, if Himes or Goodis wrote different stories, they'd be different stories, but I see no reason to preclude those stories from being noir, however.

Sam Spade throws over the possibility of love (romantic transcendence, and I think a metaphor for Christian transcendence) and declines the chase for whatever "dreams are made of" (an empty icon for transcendence) in order to survive as an individual and a businessman. You may or may not feel that Hammett was advocating political or social reform, but it is a POV that suggests the transcendent arts are dangerous distractions from the struggles of life. And I think the Maltese Falcon is as much noir as hardboil.

Best, Kerry

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