RARA-AVIS: Duhamel's Definition of Noir

From: David Rachels (RachelsDA@comcast.net)
Date: 13 Jul 2010

  • Next message: Jack Bludis: "RARA-AVIS: Where have you gone Rara-Avis"

    James--

    I didn't mean to offer up Duhamel's 1948 definition of noir as one that would do the job in 2010. Rather, I'm interested in how the idea was understood by the writer who first tried to describe it not only with his words but also with the books that he was publishing. So for me, "picking holes" in Duhamel means finding ways in which he fails to describe accurately the novels that the Serie Noire was publishing. From this perspective, _High Priest of California_ is irrelevant (published after 1948, has never appeared in the Serie Noire), as is _Appointment in Samarra_ (published before 1948, but also has never appeared in the Serie Noire). Of the examples you cite, Chandler and Hammett are the relevant ones. The Serie Noire published _The Lady in the Lake_ in 1948 and _The Glass Key_ in 1949. (Gallimard did publish Hammett in translation prior to 1948, but not in the Serie Noire.)

    Best, David

    On Jul 12, 2010, at 9:30 PM, James Michael Rogers wrote:

    > That's actually quite helpful, although one can sort of pick holes in it right away. For instance, High Priest Of California or Appointment In Samarra don't really include much in the way of violence. And, for that matter, Chandler and Hammett include much less violence than their imitators did.
    >
    > But what all of the noir books do have, or should have, is the pervasive atmosphere of inescapable and ironic doom. That's sort of an unbroken line all the way up to Ellroy and Lehane.
    >
    > But, still, an informative and interesting link.
    >
    > James
    >
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: David Rachels
    > To: rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com
    > Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 19:48
    > Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Where have you gone Rara-Avis
    >
    > If there is actually anyone out there who craves more on the issue of "What is noir?," you might be interested in this:
    >
    > http://noirboiled.blogspot.com/2010/07/serie-noire-project-introduction.html
    >
    > It's an attempt to define noir using the beginning of the Gallimard SÚrie Noire as a defining moment.
    >
    > Best,
    > David
    >
    > On Jul 11, 2010, at 3:07 PM, Jack Bludis wrote:
    >
    > > Maybe we need a good old, what is noir what is hardboiled conflict to liven things up.
    >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >
    >

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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