Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Perhaps a more relevant suggestion for the sports noir discussion?

From: Patrick King (
Date: 22 Feb 2008

Well, there are loads of good sports novels about the action on the field, but it would be hard for any of them to be noir novels. Probably the closest I can think of is Tom Wolfe's I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS, in which the political intricacies of college basketball play a large part in the plot, as well as the unraveling of a "smart" girl's constitution, certainly making it hard boiled if not noir. Wolfe did a similar thing for college football (and horse breeding) in A MAN IN FULL. But the political angle is a paramount part of it for it to impact the world of noir or hard boiled fiction. There was a hurling match a few years ago in Ireland in which a member of the opposing team stole the girlfriend of a player on the rival team and in the middle of the game, the rival bashed the opposing players brains out with his hurling stick. Now, that's noir in sports! But for it to be noir, that personal element has to come into it. The reason sports are sports is because at the end of the day it doesn't really matter who wins, while in a duel, for example, it definitely does matter. So duels are better subjects for noir novels that sports unless the sporting circumstance has some other element to create the noir vibe.

Patrick King

--- Charlie Williams <> wrote:

> I love that film. But isn't it more sports politics
> than actual
> sports? Not being picky, just trying to home in on
> some examples
> where the actual playing of the game is what it's
> all about. It's
> easy to find examples in not noir/HB: Mean Machine,
> Escape to
> Victory... Erm, I'll start again. Rocky, Rocky I,
> Rocky II... Plenty
> of baseball films too. But curiously few non-US
> sports, which is
> where we come back to rugby. Maybe the yanks are
> just better at doing
> sports in cinema.
> Anyone who really likes soccer should check out
> Zidane: A 21st
> Century Portrait. Mesmerising (or spectacularly
> boring, depending on
> your taste) and actually quite noirish, in a subtle
> way.
> Charlie
> ----------
> --- In, "Juri Nummelin"
> <juri.nummelin@...> wrote:
> >
> > Would THE LAST BOY SCOUT merit in any way?
> >
> > Juri
> >

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