RARA-AVIS: Noir -- Penzler, Kerry and MRT

From: Jack Bludis (buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 12 Aug 2010

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    Not sure about the conflict between what Kerry Schooley says and what Jacques Debierue (MRT) says.

    I agree with Kerry that the screwed character of noir may have a moral core but it gets skewed, most often by money or the femme fatale. And yes, the PI novel is romantic fantasy.

    MrT says of the moral code, "... such codes are rarely personal but instead are largely societal." I've never heard that before, but it seems right on target. Chandler's entire description of the private-eye in his famous essay points directly to the judeo-christian ethic.

    Yes, just "Screwed" is shorthand for noir, but it does describe the protagonist of such fiction. The absolute evil protagonist is not noir at all, but something entirely different.




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