Burnett

Hardback Noir

 

Spanish

Raymond Chandler, Spanish Blood, The World Publishing Company Tower Mystery, 1946

It is well known that hardboiled stories, which we would now describe as noir, first appeared in 1920s pulps magazines. And that, from the early 1940s, noir novels were circulated as paperback reprints or, in many cases, paperback originals. This belies the fact that the influential, early hardboiled novels were published as hardbacks, complete with polished dust jackets. This benefited especially hardboiled writers of the 1930s, before the triumph of paperbacks. But even after that, noir authors whose books had been published as hardbacks tended to find an easier way into the modern canon of noir literature. While paperback warranted circulation (as the case of Spillane made clear), hardback still anchored conservation, and hence institutionalisation.

Burnette

W. R. Burnett, Little Caesar, Lincoln MacVeagh, The Dial Press, 1929 Continue reading

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Black Label :The Selection of an International Canon of Noir Fiction in Spain (Etiqueta Negra)

 

Himes

 

The Etiqueta Negra (Black Label ) Series, published by  Editorial Jucar  (Gijón) from  1986 to 1995 comprises  140 outstanding noir novels (including the odd collection of short stories, such as  Hammett’s Cuentos). They are from, mainly, America, France and Spain.  By then of course, the canonisation process  has happened elsewhere long ago (in France, in Gallimard’s Série Noire, mostly, and in Hollywood, obviously).  Or  it is already well underway: the noir genre’s winners in the international competition for literary survival are very well known.  McCoy, Goodis, Himes, Thompson, Manchette, and Westlake, amongst others. But  more recent authors, such as Ellroy, and rising stars in particular from France (Daeninckx, Jonquet, Pennac and Vilar) and Spain are integrated within the collection, and benefit the most from such a symbolic canonisation.

Negras

(Click to enlarge)

Gijonpg Continue reading