Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RIP John Gardner

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 17 Aug 2007

At 09:48 PM 16/08/2007, you wrote: Jim:

>Cloak-and-dagger has been regarded as a sub-genre of
>crime fiction for almost as long as there's been a
>separate distinct genre of fiction devoted to crime.
>Going back to stories like Poe's "The Purloined
>Letter," Conan Doyle's "The Naval Treaty," "The
>Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans, and "His Last
>Bow," etc.

Much of the early spy work is about their guys spying here, which I suppose might be a crime, if a special category. But much of Le Carré ©s about our guys over there, so does that still qualify as a crime novel?

>Gallimard's Serie Noire included lots of spy stories
>on their list, including Cheyney's "Dark" series.
>Standard references on noir invariably mention spy
>fiction. For example, THE BIG BOOK OF NOIR includes
>entire chapters on Donald Hamilton and THE KREMLIN
>LETTER, and Silver & Ward's FILM NOIR includes entries
>So spy fiction is, by common consensus, regarded as a
>sub-genre of crime fiction capable of being given a
>noir treatment.

I'm kind of surprised you're willing to accept consensus on this. I know we're talking a technicality here, but I'm speculating on where this would go if the technicality is not observed. If a romance was dark and sinister and/or unrequited (doomed) but there was no crime depicted, would it be noir if others said so? Or would it be a romance with a noir(ish) theme?

Just asking, Kerry

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

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