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

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 13 Mar 2007

This logline - and subject - has had me a bit confused from the start. It seems to assume that there HAS been some kind of major shift in noir writing (but if there has been I don't think that it was defined by the original poster). I'm not as well read as most of you on this list, but I don't know that this is true. If anything it seems the opposite is occuring. Retro is in right now. Old is the new new. The biggest noise that I see coming out of noir plays on fiction that is fifty or sixty years old - and our nostalgia and tolerance for its strengths and weaknesses.

There are certainly individual practitioners who are carving their own unique paths in noir, but I don't see an organized movement towards a new evolutionary plateau.

I could well be wrong on this score, but I haven't seen much evidence posted to the contrary.

And I would agree that Elmore Leonard was possibly the last person to bring a radical change to crime writing - a change that inspired so many imitators that his kind of storytelling is now not so much imitation as just a style in which to write. In some ways I think he did to crime fiction what Hemingway did to literature in his day. But that began for him almost forty years ago, starting with THE BIG BOUNCE. (And I recognize that Higgens showed him the way, but I think Elmore perfected the style.)

Hey, a post with no reference to THE LONG GOODBYE! (Oops.)


P.S. - Congrats to Charlie on the French sale!

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