Yesterday I wrote a little about some of the NoirMOOC material. Richard Edwards, who is running the MOOC, replied via Twitter:
@phb256 thanks for the blog link! His best line in Arson Plus is about “ruins.” It’s a seed he will harvest soon in his novels. #noirmooc
— Richard L. Edwards (@redwards7) April 1, 2013
and the quote he is referring to is:
Where the house had been, was now a mound of blackened ruins. We poked around in the ashes for a few minutes—not that we expected to ﬁnd anything, but because it’s the nature of man to poke around in ruins.
And that’s the noir connection – that trainwreck fascination, the human nature “to poke around in ruins.” That’s what we see in Double Indemnity, as we watch Walter make a wreckage of his life. That applies to the other films we’ve been watching as well, Detour, Scarlet Street, The Stranger – all digging through human ruins.
Also a lot like the scorched ruins of Hemingway’s In Our Time, particularly “The Big Two-Hearted River.”