RARA-AVIS: Teaching Noir

From: Edward Pettit ( epetti01@yahoo.com)
Date: 08 Dec 2006

There's a piece in the new Oxford American called "Dark Harvest: On the pleasures of teaching noir, an underdog genre" by Barry Hannah.

A couple of snippets:

"Hard-boiled" noir, detective, mystery-where do we separate genres here or get close to a definition? The better the book, the less definition and pedantry are required. An actual masterpiece, so rare, escapes definition and genre entirely.


"What isn't noir? Did I have a noir experience last night when I mashed out my cigarette on old granny's forehead?" Well, yes you did. Mean and nasty mark much of noir. Sadism and masochism, usually disguised and even unconscious to the writer, would make a rich field for Freudian theorists. Booze itself can be masochism that erupts into sadism. But you need greed, ungovernable passion, a storyline
(if not a plot), suspense, and some trail of detection.

You can find the entire essay here: http://oxfordamericanmag.com/content.cfm?ArticleID=139&Entry- CurrentIssue

Prosit, Ed The Bibliothecary, a blog of literary endeavour. http://bibliothecary.squarespace.com/

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 08 Dec 2006 EST