Re: RARA-AVIS: Who changed the noir writing ?

From: Steve Novak (
Date: 01 Mar 2007

Thanks for your input Mark...To answer your input and some others too, I¹d say that Leonard, Lehane/Ellroy are excellent writers, superb ones sometimes, but they are not innovators of the genre which is was the original question by AD...Innovators could be 20 or 80 years old, that doesn¹t even enter into the picture, but the question originally asked concerned publications done since about the turn of this century (if that is a valid boundary?)...and innovators goes a lot deeper than successful books at the box has to do with fundamental transformations/alterations to the genre in terms of style, voice, locations, subjects, characters, plot lines and it is directly linked to different conceptions about writing, about stylistics and what one would call the Œpolitics¹ of the genre...A prime example is the transformation brought by people like Manchette in France in the 70¹s (see for example) and as AD pointed out those brought about by people like Dantec or others...trends are less formalized (or simply less Œadvertised¹) here but they do exist and any info is valuable... I¹m very curious about Sallis and Jack O¹Connell in that context and would love to know more about your opinion about them...

Many thanks in advance

Steve Novak

On 3/1/07 6:02 PM, "" <> wrote:

> I forget, was the question who has changed noir writing or who is now
> changing noir writing? While Leonard would certainly fit into the
> former category, isn't he a bit of an old master for the latter?
> I'd say Ken Bruen certainly fits here. Not meaning to restart the coat
> tails debate over him again, but one thing that struck me as odd about
> it was that everyone, even his many defenders, seemed to place him among
> the old guard. Yes, he is chronologically older than many of the
> younger generation, and he has written a lot more books than most of
> them have, but he's done it in just over 10 years. For instance, most
> would call Jason Starr a member of the new guard, but his first novel,
> Cold Caller, came out just two years after Bruen's first published crime
> novel, Rilke on Black.
> Two others that I'd definitely say have been doing new things with noir
> in the last decades or so are James Sallis, both in his Lew Griffin
> series and in standalones, and Jack O'Connell, who based his series
> around a city, Quinsigamond, not recurring characters.
> Mark

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