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

From: crimeflix (
Date: 13 Mar 2007

Hmm, re Elmore Leonard, I don't see how he can't be considered a major innovator. I actually see him as THE major innovator of the past thirty years. Though I wouldn't consider Leonard a noir writer
(to me his major books are pure crime fiction), I think he picked up on what George V. Higgins did, with dialogue-driven, character- driven, vernacular-driven crime fiction, and took it to another level. Leonard also is an outstanding plotter, an aspect of writing that I think is ignored, or taken for granted, by many critics. I think it takes at least as much to skill to craft a great plot as it does to craft a great sentence, and Leonard is a genius at both. Jason S

--- In, Steve Novak <Cinefrog@...> wrote:
> 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,
> doesn¹t even enter into the picture, but the question originally
> 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
> call the Œpolitics¹ of the genre...A prime example is the
> brought by people like Manchette in France in the 70¹s (see
> for example) and as
> 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, "DJ-Anonyme@..." <DJ-Anonyme@...> wrote:
> > I forget, was the question who has changed noir writing or who is
> > 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
> > 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
> > them have, but he's done it in just over 10 years. For instance,
> > would call Jason Starr a member of the new guard, but his first
> > 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
> > series and in standalones, and Jack O'Connell, who based his
> > around a city, Quinsigamond, not recurring characters.
> >
> > Mark
> >
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Mar 2007 EDT