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Noir Affect$
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Christopher Breu and Elizabeth A. Hatmaker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287802

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287802.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Introduction: Dark Passages

Introduction: Dark Passages

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Dark Passages
Source:
Noir Affect
Author(s):

Christopher Breu

Elizabeth A. Hatmaker

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823287802.003.0001

This chapter makes the case for conceptualizing noir (in various media) in relationship to negative affect. The chapter first charts different accounts of noir, indicating the difficulty that critics have had in defining it. We suggest that the reason for this difficulty is precisely because noir is about negativity and thus eludes any positive attempts at fixing its definition once and for all. While we do produce our own definition of thinking about noir in terms of negative affect, we do not consider it taxonomic or something that clearly defines noir as a genre (indeed, it often fuses with other genres). The chapter also charts a genealogy of negative affect from Freud to Sianne Ngai. It concludes with chapter summaries.

Keywords:   film, negative affect, negativity, noir, popular literature, psychoanalysis, video games

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