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

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 12 Aug 2010

  • Next message: Brian Thornton: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir -- Penzler, Kerry and MRT"

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "davezeltserman" <Dave.Zeltserman@...> wrote:
    > Kerry, let's look at what's considered great noir. Walter Huff in Double Indemnity crosses the line with murder, no turning back. Same with Frank and Cora in Postman Always Rings Twice. And every great noir from Jim Thompson from "Hell of a Woman" to "Savage Night". Seymour Shubin's great "Anyone's My Name" has the noir protagonist crossing the line, first betraying his future wife. I can't think of a single book that is thought of as great noir (at least by consensus of the group, and not by Jim!) that doesn't have the noir protagonist creating his own doom by crossing this moral line. OTOH, fiction that has a morally sound protagonist doomed by fate or chance falls strictly as tragedy (unless its satire, parody, etc.).

    I am not sure of this. Franz Kafka's Josef K is doomed by... everything, not anything he does in particular. He is trying to take a bearing on a constantly shifting target, he's tenacious but clearly he's fucked from the start, and we know it. It's not tragedy... I think it's noir, squarely.



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