Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Nihilism and Willeford

From: Sean Shapiro (
Date: 08 Sep 2009

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    You think 'noir' is hard to define? Gather some philosophers and ask them what 'nihilism' means. Ask them to name a 'nihilist'. See what you get.

    Is the writer of Ecclesiastes a nihilist?

    Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. (NIV translation.)

    Hubert Selby used the KJV version of the quote for 'Last Exit to Brooklyn'.

    Sean Shapiro

    ________________________________ From: "" <> To: Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 5:11:30 PM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Nihilism and Willeford

      I think you'd have to put Pop.1280 into the absurdist category too. It's a comedy classic. But if nihilism extends to absurdity, is it truly nihilistic?

    Trying to share the baldness, Kerry

    ----- Original Message ----- From: davezeltserman To: rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 9:57 AM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Nihilism and Willeford

    Juri, I agree. "Absurdist" is a good way to describe many of Willeford noir novels, especially The Woman Chaser. This is the problem when we try to split hairs and label noir as one type or another.


    --- In rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com, "Juri Nummelin" <juri.nummelin@ ...> wrote:
    > Dave Z:
    > "I've read most of Willeford, and I'm having a hard time coming up with any
    > "fall from grace" type noir from him, and would put him clearly in the
    > nihilistic category."
    > I agree. What grace was there for the guy in THE WOMAN CHASER?
    > One might call Willeford absurdist, though, not "only" nihilistic.
    > Juri

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