RARA-AVIS: Re: Torture Porn

From: GB ( mnc_fb@yahoo.com)
Date: 30 Jun 2007

The violence in the work of some of the classic authors like Thompson or Dan Marlowe never seems gratuitous or over the top in the manner of so many contemporary noir writers who think an exploding head and a blood-splattered windshield is the modern-day equivalent of a cartoon character slipping on a banana peel. One culprit behind this trend, in my opinion, is none other than Quentin Tarantino. Just as you say that many of the new novels are books based on other books instead of life, Tarantino's films mymic his predecessors' work behind a faux ironic smirk instead of expressing a genuine outlook on life.

His influence on the rest of popular culture (from the ever more gross films of people like Eli Roth to many of the recent noir novels) is likewise tangible. The characters in these neo-noirs usually conform to the stereotype we have of what a hitman or a tough guy is supposed to be like -ruthless, insensitive, sadistic - even if they're nothing but walking punchlines. It is clear to me that many of these writers have never experienced anything even remotely close to violence in their lives. This is why their fake and sadistic depiction of it in their works is more like a childish enjoyment of the forbidden rather than any meaningful statement. I believe this reliance on the gross also operates as a distraction from their obvious lack of storytelling skills. This is particularly evident in the new crop of novels where it is mandatory to include an action scene on every single page of their three-page chapters.

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