Friday, April 13, 2007

"Truth about the human condition"

Books & Culture publishes an essay by Thomas Hibbs about Film Noir which concludes:
...[N]oir has also a deeply conservative bent, which accentuates the inherent and ineradicable limits of the human condition. In classic noir, the violation of limits is rarely, if ever, successful, and whatever glimpse of redemption characters may have is always partial rather than revolutionary, personal rather than political. Moreover, noir exhibits an ethical thrust that transcends limited political labels: an ethics of discourse, a quest to discover a lost code, what scholar J. P. Telotte identified as the desire to "speak the truth about the human condition" or at least to narrate the "difficulty" of speaking that truth. Repudiating old-fashioned American optimism but never quite succumbing to despairing nihilism, noir's most captivating characters are those who, in the words of Pascal, "seek with groans." [the article]
Source: Books & Culture: Seeking With Groans

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