RARA-AVIS: Re: Slapstick-Silly Noir

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 20 Jun 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:

    > Phrases
    > like "extreme noir" or "psycho noir" or "cutting edge" noir are more
    > likely to be splashed across the cover than words like "slapstick" or
    > "cartoonish" or "a wild romp." Even though the latter may be just as
    > (or even more) truthful.

    But Kevin, what's new? Publishers advertisements tend to be full of bullshit, regardless of genre. You have to judge the book, not the blurbs.

    You mention verisimilitude... but Philip Marlowe was not really credible as a real life character - he is credible as a literary character. The guy from Charlie Huston's Caught Stealing is over the top, but as a character in the novel he works perfectly, there is a coherence. In other words, Huston wasn't writing a parody but creating a somewhat surrealistic but coherent picture. That's what literature aims for. I seriously doubt that Westlake's Parker could get away so many times without a bullet in his head, but he did -- in the books.



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