Monday, January 22, 2007

Megan Abbott blogging

I haven't read either of Megan Abbott's two crime novels that have been highly praised, but if her blog posts at The Rap Sheet are any indication of their quality, I'll be reading them pretty soon. Here, for example, is, to me at least, a very thought-provoking post about film noir - and maybe noir fiction in particular.

The cover for her novel is quite striking, don't you think?


Anonymous said...

There's something about Marcus, or anyone taking Marcus seriously, that makes me lose my faculty for punctuation.

Juri said...

You seem to have something against these somewhat Leftist cultural analysts, such as Susan Sontag. Now Greil Marcus. Get a grip. (Insert smiley here.)

And wasn't it actually David Thomson who said it? Marcus was just citing him.

I liked Thomson's idea, when it mixed fact and fiction. It was a bit wild, but sometimes you get close to truth with exaggeration. (But wasn't it so that the term 'film noir' began to be known in the US around -63? I should reread my Naremore, but don't have time now.)

And as to what you said at The Rap Sheet, wasn't the WWII still a thing about which people knew what was going on? It's only later been revealed what a complicated mess that was. And many people may not really be aware of that even now.

Anonymous said...

We hold those who should know better to a higher standard. When they are pompous blowhards, like Marcus (LIPSTICK TRACES is one of most overrated books of the last several decades) or Norman Mailer, I particularly find it distressing when they are celebrated for shallow (at best) "analysis" such as this (which I did, at Ms. Abbott's blog, note as something that Marcus borrowed as a Big Think rather than generated on his own).

Sometimes, actually most often, the more you get cute with fact, the less true one gets. There's historical fiction, which is fiction and can make truthful observations that we can't know about for sure in factual accounts, and then there're foolish pronouncements such as this, wherein we can ignore particularly the Great Depression, but also the World Wars, and all the tragedies beforehand, all of the specifically-cited examples having multiple causes and reasons for coming to be some of which were under the control of no discrete group of humanity. The CAHIERS DU CINEMA crowd didn't make up the term Film Noir till the latest '50s or earliest '60s, and people were very much aware of how little control they had over a whole big lot of their lives before that day in 1963. Or else no one would've been making exitentialist films (or writing the texts they drew from).

Anonymous said...

I see I haven't quite recovered my punctuation, syntax, nor spelling skills. Apologies.

I tend to upset my liberal Democratic friends more than I do my reactionary rightwing ones, and have been known to leave my fellow Greens utterly flabbergasted. Only occasionally, however, is that my fault, or my foolishness.

Juri said...

Ahh... should talk about this in Finnish, could get better sense out of me - I mean the talk about fact and fiction. Thomson's idea may not be right in any way, but it triggers your mind. At least mine (and obviously Megan Abbott's). Yours, too, seems so. Never mind the actual content of the citation, if it makes you think.

And obviously what Thomson said was just a casual punch ("heitto", we should say in Finnish, as in "throw"). Don't you ever talk shit and notice there might be a bit of truth in there? (Well, maybe you don't write a book about it...)

jukkahoo said...

I've been near drooling over the picture for some time, now that I realised it is also available as rather a larger version. OK, let's say I am drooling over this one. Really nice looking cover! So much so, that if I'd have the money and the temerity to destroy books by ripping off their covers, this could well find it's way into the wall of pulp-covers I've long desired to build.

You know, take a substantial amount of cheap, OK-contiditoned covers and make a nice visual statement on a wall. That is, if there'd be a wall and not just rows of book shelves everywhere...

Good to see you active. I hope I could be industrious again. Lot to read and write... David Morrell at the moment.

Woerd Up: goijpto