This book grew out of a paradox; or rather, it grew at the intersection of a number of paradoxes. The initial premise was a reinvestigation, and potentially a reconfiguration, of the exchange of influence between France and the United States, which generated first ‘noir’ the term, and subsequently a critical discourse around a movable corpus of films and novels that have become known as French noir. The principal paradox lies in the troubling coexistence of two axioms: the films and novels that traditionally constitute French noir are indisputably American in influence; and, at the same time, so many of these works are so obviously caricatural and/or reflexive that their American pastiche is always already made universal.
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- 1.David Bellos, for example, is loath to pin down Tati as a symptom of Frenchness. David Bellos, Jacques Tati: His Life and Art (London: The Harvill Press, 1999).Google Scholar
- 2.We might think of David Harvey’s Paris, Capital of Modernity (New York; London: Routledge, 2003)Google Scholar
- or Patrice Higonnet’s Paris, capitale du monde: Des Lumières au surréalisme (Paris: Tallandier, 2006).Google Scholar
- 4.James Naremore, More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1998).Google Scholar
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