Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Nihilism and Willeford

From: Karin Montin (
Date: 16 Sep 2009

  • Next message: Mark Sullivan: "RE: RARA-AVIS: OT: Folking Around"

    "Angoisse" is a tough one: anguish, distress, anxiety, dread, agony.

    BTW, "noir" means dark as well as black.

    Also BTW, that was a very quick translation and could do with a little revision. Don't know now why I decided on torment.


    On 16/09/2009 1:13 PM, Allan Guthrie wrote:
    > Jim, I don't see how you can claim that Duhamel's definition of noir is the
    > correct one, and then completely ignore it. Here's a translation (thanks to
    > Karin Montin) of Duhamel's Serie Noire manifesto, resurrected from the
    > rara-avis archives:
    > "Let unwary readers be warned: books in the Serie Noire cannot safely be
    > placed in just any hands. Those who like Sherlock Holmes-type puzzles won't
    > find what they're looking for. Neither will systematic optimists. The
    > immorality generally accepted in this type of work solely to serve as a foil
    > for conventional morality is just as much at home there as fine feelings,
    > even just plain amorality. The spirit of such books is rarely conformist. In
    > them there are police more corrupt than the criminals they're chasing. The
    > nice detective doesn't always solve the mystery. Sometimes there is no
    > mystery. And sometimes there isn't even a detective. And so? So what remains
    > is action, torment and violence, in all its forms, especially the most
    > shameful--from beatings to massacres. As in good films, moods are expressed
    > through actions, and readers who are fond of introspective literature will
    > have to do the reverse gymnastics. There is also love--preferably
    > bestial--disorderly passion, pitiless hate. In short, our goal is quite
    > simple: to keep you from sleeping."
    > The focus would appear to be on non-conformity, corruption, immorality,
    > confounding expectations, action, torment ('angoisse': also translates as
    > anxiety, as far as I can tell), violence, lack of introspection, extreme and
    > destructive emotions. The words 'dark' and 'sinister' aren't even mentioned.
    > Al
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "JIM DOHERTY"<>
    >> Noir, as the term is popularly used, relates to a novel (film, etc.) that
    >> has a dark and sinister atmosphere. Atmosphere has everything to do with
    >> it.
    > Look at the wide array of novels published under the Serie Noire line. Look
    > at the vast array of films designated as noir. Are the editors (who, after
    > all, COINED the term) using it incorrectly? Are the huge number of people
    > using the word noir in that sense somehow outside of the mainstream?
    >> Marcel Duhamel started putting the plans for Gallimard's new mystery line
    >> featuring primarily translations of American crime novels, SERIE NOIRE, in
    >> motion as early as 1944. The first book published under the SERIE NOIRE
    >> banner came out in, IIRC, September of 1945.
    > ------------------------------------
    > RARA-AVIS home page:
    > Yahoo! Groups Links

    Karin Montin

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 16 Sep 2009 EDT