RARA-AVIS: Re: Automotive noir + The Cleanup + Defining Noir

From: David Corbett (davidcorbettauthor@gmail.com)
Date: 14 Jul 2010

  • Next message: Karin Montin: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Where have you gone Rara-Avis"

    I just want to say that, as something of a neophyte rara-avian, I've been a little awestruck by the response to Harry's query on automotive noir. Where else could a devoted reader put out a narrow query like that and get the detailed, generous, knowledgeable response he garnered here? I know there was a recent comment about rara avis falling flat of late, but the response to that gauntlet throwdown, added to the outpouring on car noir just astonished me. I can't tell you how many times I read postings here and feel illiterate. Which is a good thing. I like knowing there's this endless tower of library stacks waiting for me, like something out of Borges, with people smarter than me hanging around, recommending books. My idea of heaven on earth.

    Also, thanks to Joy & Karin for reminding me of The Cleanup. I've been wondering what to pick next for my book group, and almost pulled the trigger on The Zero, but I've been wanting to introduce Sean Doolittle to the others and that fits perfectly with the summer's trendline.

    Last, on the issue of noir definitions -- man, now there is a slippery fish -- Noircon's blog has a pretty acceptable (if ungrammatical) one:

    NoirCon does not embrace any one particular definition, it only strikes out to celebrate the notion that modern man as the anti-hero, the protagonist who is a loser. [sic]

    Good doesn’t always win over evil. Each guy is on his own. What happens is sometimes sheer luck or circumstance. It depends on how a guy reacts to situations – or what he can get away with. The losers simply are the losers and stay the losers. There is no comfortable redemption nor faith to sustain reason in an unreasonable world. Man is alone. His violence is a syndrome of this condition.

    But I still like Jim Nesbit's best: In noir, the protagonist on page one is totally f**ked, and it just goes downhill from there.
      David Corbett www.davidcorbett.com

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