Re: RARA-AVIS: Cain and Hammett

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 03 Oct 2007

--- jacquesdebierue <> wrote:

> What do you mean by "screwed"? That there is
> something wrong in the
> head with the character or that he ends up screwed?

In the context of the conversation, it's dead, in prison or insane.

> If it's the head
> thing, I can think of plenty of noir novels where
> the character simply
> takes the wrong turn and is trapped. Jason Starr's
> protagonist who
> always smells like fish (I forget his name) is one
> of those.

His name is Mickey Prada and I'm working on an essay about Starr as we speak. Again, we're extrapolating from a simple statement from Jack and not a manifesto published in Semiotics. Frankly, I think defining Hendricks, Abbott and Starr as noir minimizes what they're actually up to. Ken Bruen plays at being noir as a fashion, which is different from Miami Purity's playing with the themes. One of the aspects of Starr's work (I'm into my third Starr book at the moment) that I really appreciate is that there's nothing retro about it. The whole concept of neo-noir is nothing but diddling with styles but I digress . . .

> So I have to register a protest against this
> minimalist "screwed"
> definition of noir. It doesn't always fit.
Of course it doesn't fit. How could it especially when you throw Kafka and Body Heat into the equation? And for my money, "Pretty Poison" is classic noir where
"Body Heat" is a false homage. But that's just me.


Essays and Ramblings

      ____________________________________________________________________________________ Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect. Join Yahoo!'s user panel and lay it on us.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 03 Oct 2007 EDT