RARA-AVIS: Lehane/Stasio on noir

From: davezeltserman (Dave.Zeltserman@gmail.com)
Date: 16 Nov 2009

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    This is from Marilyn Stasio's column in yesterday's NY Times:

    In his introduction to BOSTON NOIR, Dennis Lehane advises us not to judge the genre by its Hollywood images of sharp men in fedoras lighting cigarettes for femmes fatales standing in dark alleys. Offering his own definition of noir as "working-class tragedy," he writes persuasively of the gentrification that has eroded "the tribalism of the city" and left people feeling "crushed, attenuated, castrated" by "the Machine." But that's really a definition of good regional crime writing rather than the noir sensibility, which has more to do with a loss of faith, hope and outer direction so profound that the alienated antihero is moved to renounce all society and live entirely by his own moral code.

    Okay, Jim, have at it!

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