What about Pop 1280 and all those noir romps in which we laugh at the protagonists' failures to recognize their doom, persistently engaging in one impossible scheme after another? Grim? I don't think so. Absurd? That's more like it.
It's more a matter of perception than substance, in the end. POV. BTW, I number those transcendentalists among the grim, constantly hoping that if we bear down, curl our lips in the right way, eventually we'll make everything work out right and no laughing allowed when addressing the dieties, please and thanks. Camus and the existentialists were all about finding a POV from which man finds purpose, happiness, satisfaction (call it what you will) from the way things are, rather than the way we hope they might someday be. How to find joy in failure, or put another way, within the limits of our existence because ultimately, we will not exist. Life is an event, just like a good story.
Categorically, I put noir as existentialist crime writing, a point of view doomed to failure, I strongly suspect, especially as we seem to have long ago progressed from noir to neo-noir and are now ripping through post-noir at a fabulous rate. What could possibly be next, except the end?
PS: Regarding Lap Dance, why would a bouncer be built like the World Wildlife Fund?
----- Original Message -----
From: Jack Bludis
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:33 PM
Subject: RARA-AVIS: "Grimly Existential" as Opposed to "Noir"
It seems to me that the term "Grimly Existential" comes close to describing "Noir."
In the grimmest of existential character is the idea that he or she is screwed by his or her own acts--and knows it.
Lap Dance at: http://backalleywebzine.com/
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