RARA-AVIS: Re: Random Notes On Redemption

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 05 Sep 2009

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    On Sep 5, 2009, at 1:38 AM, rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com wrote:

    > I've gone bald splitting hairs on this list.

    That's my excuse, too.

    But I love this part:

    > A tale that illustrates the pointlessness, the impossibility of
    redemption? Noir, then.
    > Although if you believe in redemption then you might find it
    tragic. Tragic noir, perhaps.

    This probably sums up the sort of noir I like best. Without some sort of shot at redemption -- even if it's doomed from the beginning -- I still prefer it to the type that's too often just a wallow of dime store cynicism and penny ante nihilism. If I want that, I can just eavesdrop on the teenage geeks and their spiritual brethren who hang around comic stores and the graphic novel section of our own local bookstore, talking loudly in the hopes one day a girl will hear them. It's always easier to sneer than to think.

    Not to get too tutti-fruity about it theologically, but Hell is boring, if there isn't the possibility of some sort of Heaven.

    I think I have a hair or two left to split (okay, so it's an eyebrow hair). How about two sub-genres of noir? Nihilist noir and tragic noir?

    I could easily put much of what I think of as traditional noir (Cain, Hammett, some Chandler, Bruen, Woolrich, Starr, Abbott, Goodis, etc.) into the tragic slot, and much of what I've occasionally slagged as neo-nah into the nihilist bin.

    Anyway, I'm glad someone finally spelled "redemption" correctly.


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