Beyond the fog : noir, genre play and social critique in the novels of Robert Coover, Megan Abbott, Thomas Pynchon and Mat Johnson
Eleanor Ruth Evangeline Gold
May 11, 2011
Department or Program
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.