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

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 01 Dec 2006

John Lau wrote:

no, I think you can see it coming with the inevitability of a train derailment

*********** Hmm... The protagonist gets out alive and with the babe in The Black Dahlia. Some of Charles Williams's works, Dead Calm, Scorpion Reef, and Sailcloth Shroud to name a few, do not end in defeat for the main characters, even though others, like River Girl and the one about the car salesman, leave the protagonist in total defeat. Charles Willeford dooms in one and blesses in another. It could even be said that the protag in The Big Heat comes out victorious. And yet these all have the hell-in-a-handbasket plotline.

I don't buy the inevitability rap. A writer can drop em in the shitter and drag em out smelling like a rose. If they've got to be utterly doomed in the end for it to be noir, then you gotta wait till the end to make the call.


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