RARA-AVIS: Re: how to write noir (or not)

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 04 Mar 2009

  • Next message: Mark Sullivan: "RE: RARA-AVIS: how to write noir"

    Mario wrote:

    > > But I still think anyone whoever tackles such a book is going to
    > have
    > > to nail down the definition first. Simply calling it noir doesn't
    > make
    > > it so.
    > Noir is a much looser denomination than other genres. And I don't
    > think noirs depend as much on cliché situations and characters. The
    > best ones have none of that, each one is a original work.
    > Look at this list... What do they have in common? Hard to say, but
    > it's not clichés.
    > Perhaps a handbook could provide tips for conveying despair and for
    > creating doomed characters, but a good doomed character is a tall
    > order.

    Exactly. Which is why so much of what is marketed these days as "noir" disappoints me, and why I felt a working (but flexible) definition was important. I focussed on mood and tone and feel, and tried to get away from more the more obvious (and easy to mimic) tropes.

    "Oooh, he's wearing a long coat! He shoots someone! In the rain! Then smokes a cigarette! It must be noir!"

    Oh, sorry for giving away the plot of SIN CITY II...

    Kevin Burton Smith www.thrillingdetective.com

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Mar 2009 EST