--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, JIM DOHERTY <jimdohertyjr@...> wrote:
Jim, I don't have the time right now to go through each of your
points, but I'll go through a few...
> SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
> In it, a homicide cop, investigating a murder, comes to be more and
more convinced that his own daughter is the killer, and he begins supressing evidence, and even tries to frame an innocent man, all to save his daughter.
> By your definition, or by Jack's, in order to be noir, he'd have to
be successful in framing the innocent man, only to find that his daughter was innocent all along, and that if he'd only investigated the case honestly, he'd have nailed the real killer before deliberately sending the wrong man to gallows.
The scenario about would be noir since it has the required fatalistic
> In fact he learns of his daughter's innocence just in time's
proverbial nick, and sets right the wrong he's done in order to nail the real killer.
Correct, this would not be noir since it lacks the required fatalism.
> You could, I suppose, describe the murderess in THE BRIDE WORE BLACK
as "damned" because she actually does what Endicott manages to avoid in the short story mentioned above, kills a series of innocent men in revenge only to find that they're all of them are, in fact, innocent of the offense she's wreaking vengeance for, thus damning herself.
> But she's the killer, for crying out loud! She's supposed to be
damned in the eyes of the reader. And the fact that we see about a third of the book through her POV doesn't make her any less the villainess of the piece. You might as well say that seeing the murders committed by the special guest killer at begininng of each episode of COLUMBO, then seeing much of the rest of the episode from that character's POV as s/he matches wits with the titular detective are noir, because one of the two main characters is damned.
It's all a matter of perspective. In the following two examples of
literary noir, Double Indemnity by Cain and Hell of a Woman by
Thompson, we have characters who we're rooting for not to cross the
line and commit murder, and once they do they're damned. Would I think
of these books as noir if written from other perspectives? Probably
not. Again, this is part of what Mario was talking about--we each know
noir when we see it. To me it's a matter getting inside the
character's head, and feeling their sense of inevitability and doom.
So yes, Monk is not noir since it's not from the killer's perspective,
but I could probably rewrite every Monk episode and make it noir.
> What you offer, Dave, isn't a definition. It's a personal preference.
Fair enough--I wasn't being precise with my word choice of
"definition". More accurate would have been to state "my view of noir".
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