" . . . capture the moods and ways of their contemporary societies," I'd call one kind of relevance. One that's largely determined in hindsight.
Things are moving fast around here, you might have noticed. Too late to start a yarn about bail-out bucks and overdue mortgages, except as background. To be contemporary by publication date the genre will have to look beyond what's next, to what's coming after that.
Or the genre will remain relevant by exploring something more universal about the human spirit. What I'm saying is that I think, from the noir POV, that work has largely been done, well, and summarized nicely in "No Country".
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Existential and all that
--- In email@example.com, "gsp.schoo@..." <gsp.schoo@...> wrote:
> Sure. I like Jason's work too, and a number of other contemporary
noir writers. And there are new readers discovering the genre all the
time. My comment isn't a knock on the quality of current writers.
> I've never considered the genre a gimmick, though I'm sure there are
amusement bucks to be wrung from its pages yet. But when reality
surpasses fiction, the fiction is no longer producing relevant ideas,
new directions. It is journalism's job to report the past.
But does great fiction necessarily produce relevant ideas and new
directions? I am thinking of guys like Faulkner... Or, in our genre, I
don't think Chandler, Hammett and other acknowledged masters
contributed much in terms of ideas and directions, though they did
capture the moods and ways of their contemporary societies, of course.
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