RARA-AVIS: RE : Lolita and noir

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 01 Feb 2007

My apologies for being absent from this dialog for days at a time. It has been many years since I read LOLITA and Cain's BUTTERFLY-- long enough that I don't feel comfortable being hard-over on this. My memory is that BUTTERFLY was more noir or near-noir than LOLITA. I do not believe that every novel wherein the male lead is lured to his doom by a female (regardless of age) is noir.

Jailbait novels were relatively common in the first few decades of paperbacks. Some, such as several by Gil Brewer, were noir. Many others were backwoods comedy romps trying to catch the Tobacco Road audience and I wouldn't consider them noir novels.

Perhaps my problem is that I have trouble labeling a funny novel Noir. As I recall it, LOLITA is a very funny novel.

On the other hand, I do believe a novel can be both hardboiled and funny.

Just today I began reading a very funny novel I learned about through Keith Roberts' memoir (of sorts) LEMADY. The book is DON'T POINT THAT THING AT ME by Kyril Bonfiglioli and it manages to be both tough and very, very funny.

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "E. Borgers" <webeurop@...> wrote:
> I agree with Patrick.
> Especially for "Buttefly" which is really noir.
> Confusion here is that a lot of the "speakers" consider noir as
as sub-genre or a sub-sub-genre, of mystery/crime lit. It's not.
> Noir is wider than mystrery lit, and as I advocated it here many
times, HB is just one of the sub-genre it included.
> Noir covers parts of gen lit, mystery, humor...the list is long.
> A little bit as in the mathematical theory of sets: it contains
sub-sets and intersects with other sets (genres or type of lit) than mystery/crime.
> Speaking of the origins, archaic forms, noir and mystery/crime
lived togheter and influenced one another all along the way.
> Even starting with the Bible...
> E.Borgers
> http://www.geocities.com/polarnoir
> Patrick King <abrasax93@...> a 飲it :
> Thanks for your response, but why don't you consider
> Lolita inparticular, and nymphette novels in general,
> noir novels? What other genre do they fall under? It's
> the same problem that involves many other noir novels:
> the anti-hero falling under the sway of a female,
> leading to his downfall. The only real difference is
> that the female is under 18-years-old, adding another
> demention to the level of obsession and to the
> darkness of the story. Cain's Butterfly is essentially
> this same problem, isn't it? Would you not consider
> Butterfly a noir novel?
> Patrick King
> --- Richard Moore <moorich@...> wrote:
> > I admire Nobokov's LOLITA but do not consider it a
> > noir novel.
> >
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