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Much contemporary American noir involves a critique of greed, capitalism, and official corruption—understandable, considering its roots in the years following the Great Depression. Noir is a fluid genre, born out of cultural anxieties that, still applicable, allow it to adapt to evolving American culture. I will explore the ways in which contemporary reinterpretations of noir as a literary genre subvert and reclaim the genre conventions in order to critique both noir itself and the current era, using Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, Robert Coover’s Noir, Megan Abbott’s The Song Is You, and Mat Johnson’s Incognegro as examples of this mode of genre play.
Robert Coover -- Noir, Megan E. Abbott (1971- ) -- Song is you, Thomas Pynchon -- Inherent vice, Mat Johnson -- Incognegro, Literary form -- Noir, Literary form -- Hardboiled fiction, Noir fiction -- Subgenre, Parody in literature, Sex role -- Gender dynamics, Masculinity in literature, Characters and characteristics -- Femme fatale, Whitman College 2011 -- Dissertation collection -- English Department
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Gold, Eleanor Ruth Evangeline, "Beyond the fog : noir, genre play and social critique in the novels of Robert Coover, Megan Abbott, Thomas Pynchon and Mat Johnson" (2011). Honors Theses. 33.
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