Re: glorifying violence (was Re: RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard)

From: Stephen Burridge (
Date: 22 Jul 2008

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    This is one of the things that appeals to me most about noir literature: the relatively realistic portrayal of the effects of violence and criminality on the personality, with unfortunate or depraved people committing violent acts and then dealing with the consequences. Those who trace the roots of the genre to books like "Crime and Punishment" and "The Secret Agent" are clearly thinking the same way. I enjoy the more romantic and I would say unrealistic presentation of violence in other kinds of adventure stories as well, but it seems to me that noir fiction, at least some of it, has a more serious and realistic appreciation of what's involved in violence and criminal acts.


    On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 12:35 PM, Gerald W Page <>wrote:

    > ...The best writers who have explored violence -- writers like Jim
    > Thompson and
    > Joseph Wambaugh -- have staunchly explored the emotional and psychological
    > impact of violence. They have shown the effect of it less on the victims
    > than on the perpetrators and (certainly in Wambaugh's case) those who are
    > charged with dealing with such violence. Though the problem of violence
    > doesn't seem to have been lessened by their efforts, it is possible because
    > of them to understand it better.

    > And understanding -- for themselves and their readers -- is why good
    > writers
    > write....

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