Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RIP John Gardner

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 15 Aug 2007

At 08:27 AM 15/08/2007, you wrote:

>Dave Zeltserman wrote:
>I agree wholeheartedly about Fleming's Bond books.
>You Only Live Twice (completely different plot than
>movie) == noir
>Raymond Chandler and Fleming had something like a long
>distance friendship going on and exchanged mail.
>Chandler liked Casino Royale, I think the first Bond
>book. You talk about noir and how a book was not like
>the movie. In Casino Royale Bond is not much of the
>stereotype hardboiled hero at all. No ass-kicking or
>shooting. And he loses the girl at the end and it
>haunts him.

The themes are noirish, almost non-transcendent by nature, but can the spy genre properly be called noir? These characters, like James, James Bond, were licensed to kill. Where's the prerequisite crime?

Of course, they frequently killed outside the countries that licensed them, but if a spy is outed and not killed they will be sent home. It's sort of a game, isn't it? Treason is a crime everywhere there is crime, I presume, and spying is all about double agents. Does that make the genre noir or just some of the stories?

I ask because one direction noir may have gone, and be flourishing is into the disruption of international conflict. Not war itself necessarily, but civil strife, refugee camps, displaced people and places where laws are not well defined or non-existent. If a nation's justice system collapses, do we still have crime? Does international law count, especially if it cannot be enforced? If this sort of stuff is noir, is the spy genre a transitional stage?

We must fill these categories, no? Kerry

------------------------------------------------------ The evil men do lives after them

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