Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Goodis (was S鲩e Noire)

Date: 22 Dec 2006


I certainly didn't mean to imply that Goodis's characters do not confront death, just that there aren't always murders in the books. In previous posts, confrontation with death had been used, first, as confrontation with one's own death (as I think Dave meant it) and confrontation with someone else's death, often by murder (as you added). I was just pointing out that causing someone else's death was not necessary for someone to be in hell, as evidenced by Goodis's work. Although, it retrospect, Goodis's character are sometimes in hell due to havng caused death (feeling responsible for death in a crash, for instance), though not always through murder.

That said, I think an important distinction is to be drawn between confronting your own death and someone else's. I'm certainly not saying one is noir and the other isn't, or even that one is more noir than the other, but the two have different consequences/trajectories -- for instance, causing someone else's death can lead to having to confront your own -- and can imply different levels of engagement in an active vs. passive kind of way.

Kind of related, the more I think about it, the more I like my offhand comment that noir is about a person coming up against his or her moral limits and finding out who he or she really is. I'm not saying it's an absolute requirement of noir, but I am saying that most of the noirs I like best seem to have that quality.


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