• Alistair Rolls
  • Deborah Walker
Part of the Crime Files Series book series (CF)


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. 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. 2.
    We might think of David Harvey’s Paris, Capital of Modernity (New York; London: Routledge, 2003)Google Scholar
  3. or Patrice Higonnet’s Paris, capitale du monde: Des Lumières au surréalisme (Paris: Tallandier, 2006).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    James Naremore, More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Woody Haut, Pulp Culture: Hardboiled Fiction and the Cold War (London: Serpent’s Tail, 1995), and Neon Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction (London: Serpent’s Tail, 1999).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Geoffrey O’Brien, Hardboiled America: Lurid Paperbacks and the Masters of Noir (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alistair Rolls and Deborah Walker 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alistair Rolls
  • Deborah Walker

There are no affiliations available

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