Thriller (Noir)

(1653 words)
  • Lee Horsley (Lancaster University)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The word “noir” has become widespread both in academic discourse and as a signifier of sleek commercialism. In the cinema alone, there have been over three hundred noir-influenced films released since 1971, and the term is applied not only to films but to television programmes, comics and video games, a growth in usage that has spawned “fusion phrases” such as “cable noir”, “TV noir”, “pop noir”, “cyber noir”, “tech noir”, “future noir” and “digital noir”. It has also increasingly been applied to crime fiction, and it is therefore useful to ask what meaning “noir” has when it is applied to literature. To formulate a definition appropriate to novels it is obviously necessary to go beyond the visual …

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Horsley, Lee. "Thriller (Noir)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction