RARA-AVIS: Re: Piccirilli (was: Re: Jack O'Connell's top 10 books of 2008)

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 10 Jan 2009

  • Next message: davezeltserman: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Piccirilli (was: Re: Jack O'Connell's top 10 books of 2008)"

    Without getting bogged down in a discussion of definitions, it is entirely possible for a noir novel to not destroy the protagonist at the end or stop him or her forever. An example is Kent Harrington's Dark Ride. Another is the Ripley series by Patricia Highsmith. Another is Charlie Huston's _Caught Stealing_. There are many examples, even in Woolrich (Rear Window is a very well known one).

    Noir allows for many variations, from simple bad luck that engulfs and tries to destroy a person, to a psychopath doing things, to petty crooks getting into something way worse that they can't stop, etc. Noir is not a formula nor does it depend on a formula. That is why is such a vital genre and why, for example, Jason Starr's novels are so totally different from one another but they're all noir, without question. Or Patricia Highsmith's large variety of noir stories. What do Ripley, Strangers on a Train, Edith's Diary and That Sweet Sickness have in common? Not a discernible formula, I would say.



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