Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:Most Hard-Boiled?

From: Karin Montin (
Date: 18 Dec 2006

Let unwary readers be warned: books in the S鲩e Noire cannot safely be placed in just any hands. Those who like Sherlock Holmes-type puzzles won't find what they're looking for. Neither will systematic optimists. The immorality generally accepted in this type of work solely to serve as a foil for conventional morality is just as much at home there as fine feelings, even just plain amorality. The spirit of such books is rarely conformist. In them there are police more corrupt than the crimnals they're chasing. The nice detective doesn't always solve the mystery. Sometimes there is no mystery. And sometimes there isn't even a detective. And so? So what remains is action, torment and violence, in all its forms, especially the most shameful--from beatings to massacres. As in good films, moods are expressed through actions, and readers who are fond of instrospective literature will have to do the reverse gymnastics. There is also love--preferably bestial--disorderly passion, piti
 less hate. In short, our goal is quite simple: to keep you from sleeping.

Marcel Duhamel, founder of the S鲩e Noire. 1948 translated by Karin Montin, 2006

At 09:16 PM 18/12/2006 +0000, Al Guthrie wrote:
>Incidentally, here's a link (in French) to a quote by Marcel Duhamel
>describing La Serie Noire books. I'm told that he mentions morality,
>non-conformity, anguish, corruption, action, violence and a host of
>other things we frequently talk about here. I believe you've said on
>several occasions that we shouldn't redefine what Duhamel previously
>defined. Well, now we have the words from his lips and they
>aren't 'dark and sinister'. I'd be most appreciative if one of the
>French speakers on list has the time to translate this.

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