Saturday, March 22, 2014

Noir is a state of mind: Giorgio Scerbanenco's A Private Venus

Here are some reflections inspired by my second reading of Giorgio Scerbanenco's 1966 novel A Private Venus, available in the UK from Hersilia Press and in the U.S. from Melville House:
1) The novel is thoroughly noir long before it portrays any violence or criminal acts. This may remind some readers of David Goodis.
2) Its protagonist, Duca Lamberti, is a doctor who has been struck from the register for an act of euthanasia. That sounds like Goodis' ex-singer or piano player protagonists, but unlike them, Lamberti has not hit the skids. He has a sister, a niece, a powerful friend on Milan's police force, and a place to live. Noir is not synonymous with squalor. It's a state of mind, not an economic category.
© Peter Rozovsky 2014

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