"jacquesdebierue" firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Kevin, you make very good points. One that I would add is that pulp
literature, together with the production of the literary heavyweights
(Dos Passos, Steinbeck, etc.) of the thirties, convinced people that corruption is an essential feature of the landscape, regardless of who is at the helm. This trend was never reversed in literature and film. It seems to be a deep conviction, apparently impossible to erase at this late date. I don't think it's so much cynicism as a strong belief that what underlies everything is corruption. In the hardboiled genre, Chandler and Hammett did their share to spread this view early on.
According to Christian theology, we all live in a fallen world, and every human being is a sinner. Corruption, therefore, is a natural part of the world. Popular culture -- hardboiled and noir literature and film -- have captured this sense of the corrupt world very well. There are those, however, who answer to their conscience to bring leverage against the corruption: Spade, Marlow, the Continental Op, and so forth. They, too, are sinners, but they also do not give in fully to the corruption of the fallen world.
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