Re: RARA-AVIS: Early Noir

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 20 May 2007

William Ahearn wrote in response to my recommendation of Faulkner's Sanctuary:

I'll check it out. Thanks.

************* Without giving too much away, there is a section where a few people are just walking around inside an old house, but it struck me as really ominous and threatening. When I pulled away from the book long enough to think about it, I had to laugh.

Faulkner is purposely vague sometimes in his writing, and sometimes it works and sometimes it just pisses me off. My recommendation is when you come to anything obscure, forge right on. I think that's the way it's meant to be read, and it comes together better that way.

As far as defining noir, I might split hairs on particular works, but I'm right with you on big picture. Although the femme fatale is a long-standing noir feature, even they don't always appear. There's none in Thieves Like Us, and I'd say it's solidly within the noir fiction category.


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