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Author Irwin, John T., author.

Title Unless the Threat of Death is Behind Them : Hard-Boiled Fiction and Film Noir / John T. Irwin.

Publication Info. [Place of publication not identified] : Johns Hopkins University Press, [2006]
©2006

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Description 1 online resource (371 pages)
text file rdaft
(epub)
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Summary "The noted literary critic delves into the psychology and significance of American hardboiled crime fiction and film noir of the 1930s and '40s. Early in the twentieth century, American crime novelists like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler put forward a new kind of character: the "hard-boiled" detective, as exemplified by Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon. Unlike the analytical detectives of nineteenth-century fiction, these new detectives encountered cases not as intricate logical puzzles but as stark challenges of manhood. John T. Irwin explores how the stories of these characters grapple with ideas of American masculinity. Professional codes are pitted against personal desires, resulting in either ruinous relationships or solitary integrity. In thematic conflicts between independence and subordination, all notions of manly independence prove subordinate to the hand of fate. Tracing the stylistic development of the genre, Irwin demonstrates the particular influence of the novel of manners, especially the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He also shows that as hard-boiled fiction began to appear on the screen in film noir, it took on themes of female empowerment -- just as women entered the workforce in large numbers. Finally, he discusses how these themes persist in contemporary dramatic series on television, representing the conflicted lives of Americans into the twenty-first century."-- Provided by Freading.
Note Publisher metadata.
Subject Detective and mystery stories, American -- History and criticism.
Noir fiction, American -- History and criticism.
Detective and mystery films -- United States -- History and criticism.
Film noir -- United States -- History and criticism.
Private investigators in literature.
Detectives in literature.
Masculinity in literature.
Masculinity in motion pictures.
Men in literature.
Men in motion pictures.
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General.
Genre/Form Electronic books.
ISBN 9780801889387 (epub)
9780801890802 (print)
Standard No. 9780801889387
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