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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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Capitalism as Affective Atmosphere: The Noir Worlds of Massimo Carlotto

Capitalism as Affective Atmosphere: The Noir Worlds of Massimo Carlotto

Chapter:
(p.241) Chapter 11 Capitalism as Affective Atmosphere: The Noir Worlds of Massimo Carlotto
Source:
Noir Affect
Author(s):

Andrew Pepper

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823287802.003.0012

This chapter interrogates the relationship between the novels of the Italian crime writer Massimo Carlotto and the ills of capitalism in its neoliberal phase. But crucially it is not an ideological critique where character and action can be fully explained according to the logic of capitalism as a social and economic system. Rather, Carlotto's noir universe is chaotic and unpredictable, and his characters do not understand themselves or their actions beyond a basic inclination toward financial gain and self-interest. As such, I argue that affect understood as an autonomic or bodily response to one's environment better explains Carlotto's noir world; and that 'noir affect'—which takes and inverts the positive potential of affect identified by Massumi and others—acts on populations to negatively imbricate or subsume action and character in the unruly violence of the 'free' market.

Keywords:   affect, At the End of a Dull Day, capitalism, Massimo Carlotto, crime popular literature, economics, The Goodbye Kiss, neoliberalism, noir, violence

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