Bare Knuckles Press publishes women’s rugby novel

Noir Nation’s sister imprint, Bare Knuckles Press, is proud to announce the publication of Hookers, Flankers and Locks, Jean Roller’s novel about the Yale Women’s Rugby Team. Roller offers a fascinating peek at the subculture of women rugby players at Yale. The relationships between the players, the rugby songs, and the bawdily hilarious dialogue between beer chugging teammates has a veracity that makes this novel as compelling as the game itself. $8.00 on Amazon.

Noir Nation on the US suit against Apple and some legacy publishers

Eddie Vega, Editor Noir Nation

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an antitrust suit against MacMillan and other legacy publishers for conspiring with Apple to increase eBook prices. It was the right call.

Instead of trying to understand the implications of digital delivery of literary content on reading habits, Legacy Publishers—the LegPubs, as we call them at Noir Nation—aided by brick & mortar bookstores, including the defunct Borders, and the now struggling Barnes & Nobles, decided instead to maintain their market share by colluding against Amazon, an innovative company which has changed international publishing and retail markets forever.

What does it mean if the world is round and not flat? Asked bold seafarers like Christopher Columbus. It means a pandemic reach. It means easier, safer, and faster access to the global markets.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, asked similar questions about books. And the result was a revolution in thought and habit. As Bezos built his globe-setting digital ship, the LegPubs were racing each other in their day boats, happy in their little harbor.

Even little harbors have access to the sea, but one does not sail the ocean seas with day boats or dinghies, but with a tight ship and a bold crew. The LegPubs, however, didn’t even try day boats. They tried collusion, a dull and lazy way of navigating any problem. And some will now sink.

To read more, go here and here.

Lost in the Shadows, a film noir commentary by Diego Rooks

Diego Rooks, Noir Nation film critic

A film noir scene: Cold sweat on the forehead and almost a close up of a panic-stricken gaze. Then the darkness of a smoky hallway. The Woman turns the corner… the Man with the tilted hat is rendered in silhouette as he takes a pensive drag. Did you read that? A pensive drag. This man is actually thinking. Many thanks to the German Expressionists who infused their contemplative and mute intentions into their canvas. Yes, canvas (back then of chemicals, now of bytes and the sort) and the French with their categorization, which was later shredded by Hollywood, since from 1920 to 1930 a lot of these German directors would be leaving the motherland because of pre-war anxiety. Many left for America and adapted their more subconscious language of mixed theatre, performance, and photography and then from 1930 to 1940 into something more palatable and easier to digest for the masses, melodrama. So then all those different categories that would comprise the Film Noir of that period were packaged into a commercial film product and mass produced. Was this good or bad? How to know? But when you enjoy Noir there is a slowness of time that slowly quickens, like a violin concerto, as the Hero—or antihero—makes difficult choices. He thinks… and she feels. The sense of seduction and rapture embodied in the Heroine, damsel in distress, who may turn out to be the real thinker, and the killer, to the Hero’s dismay.

A frame from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo

Noir. Waiting for a new remake, never lost, just undergoing some metamorphosis as modern times melt in the alchemy of old. Like Hitchcock’s Vertigo we can commence a fresh view of  Film Noir as the technologies of film begin transitioning from old to new media. We see it in video games like L.A. Noir, a mystery in a crime-riddled city wherein players have the opportunity to “snoop” around since it’s a role playing game.  But it’s hard to get that deadpan seriousness of Bogart in the Falcon Maltese in a video game, at least not without boring the audience, which may be more excited by booms and crashes than by the movement of the cogs within… your soul… and your brain trying to make sense of evil.

Recently, at the 2012 Academy Awards, The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, won many awards, including the one for Best Picture. In it, a silent film, we find many elements of Noir, even the tilted camera shot. It also won the Best Actor award even though the drunk scene of actor Jean Dujardin was not very believable at all. Let’s just say it was the quirky side of Noir sweeping through the awards. The acting in The Artist was filled with exaggeration and poses (typical of the acting of that age, 1925 to 1930) but there was lots of chemistry between both performers and a strong emotional projection from actor Bérenice Bejo.

The Artist

The film industry has become a game of remakes, treatments and budgets. For the audience the film does not roll anymore… it’s a moving image, fast paced at times and with startling visual effects at others. Things must change, it is the nature of things so the way Noir Film was viewed before is not so now, times change and so do people, but when we find ourselves working with the projection of  the subconscious onto film like the recess of a paranoid mind or a state of apprehension, confusion or desire we end up having to go back to techniques, styles and expressions—film treatments if you will—that have been explored in so many different ways by the very blurry genre of Noir Film.

First cover from Noir Nation photo shoot

This is the first cover to result from the recent Noir Nation photo shoot at the Kettle of Fish, home of the famous Jack Kerouac bar sign. The models on the cover are film actors Thomas Wesson and Dasha Kittredge.

In Awake Now, Sailor, noirishly poetic seafaring novel, Cass Loyola, a merchant seaman, abandons the ocean seas to pursue literature and love at a button-down college in New York City. As he struggles to adjust to his new life, he is haunted by the woman he left behind in Cardiff—a bookbinder and practicing witch.

At once a seafaring novel, a Cuban novel, and Catholic novel, given its reliance on Thomas Aquinas and Teresa of Ávila to understand the changing cosmos of daily life, Awake Now, Sailor includes pirate fights in the Bay of Bengal, gypsy cab rides into the dark heart of Brooklyn, a drunken mountain climb in Wales, cane cutting in Oriente de Cuba, an encounter between a U.S. Marine and an academic poet, and a smashed guitar in a Havana radio station that ends a musical career.

The book also offers décima campesinas, a poetic form popular in Cuba, and an original sea shanty translated into Welsh by British poet Menna Elfyn.

Harry Crews, outlaw writer of Southern Gothic, enters US writer’s Valhalla

Harry Crews

From the New York Times

Harry Crews, whose novels out-Gothic Southern Gothic by conjuring a world of hard-drinking, punch-throwing, snake-oil-selling characters whose physical, mental, social and sexual deviations render them somehow entirely normal and eminently sympathetic, died on Wednesday at his home in Gainesville, Fla. He was 76.

The cause was complications of neuropathy, his former wife, Sally Crews, said. Before retiring in the 1990s, Mr. Crews taught writing for many years at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

A Georgia-born Rabelais, Mr. Crews was renowned for darkly comic, bitingly satirical, grotesquely populated and almost preternaturally violent novels.