End of ADS-L Digest - 5 Oct 1997 to 6 Oct 1997 ********************************************** Subject: ADS-L Digest - 6 Oct 1997 to 7 Oct 1997 There are 14 messages totalling 583 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Film Noir; Hoosier; O.K. sign; Gay Life (2) 2. ONE: In & Out of a homosexual magazine 3. RE>Re: "The Backbone of America"; First Monday in October; NY Yankees 4. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Japo=F1ol?= 5. "The Backbone of America"; First Monday in October; NY Yankees (2) 6. Japo|ol 7. pop one's fingers (2) 8. An R-full mess 9. dialect in literature (2) 10. womanist ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 02:29:30 -0400 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: Film Noir; Hoosier; O.K. sign; Gay Life FILM NOIR "Where did the vogue use of this word...have its origin? The earliest use found so far of _film noir_ in the O.E.D. is from a 1958 review in The Spectator about a play that 'tries to be a parody of a _film noir_.' (That can't be the coinage; the Lex Irreg who sends in a previous citation gets a black look in print here.)" --William Safire, "Film Noir Is My Bete Noir," Sunday New York Times Magazine, 5 October 1997. Amazing. I'll take Fred Shapiro's suggestion and be perfectly calm about this. The first place to look, obviously, would be in FILM NOIR: AN ENCYCLOPEDIC REFERENCE TO THE AMERICAN STYLE. The book is edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward. It was first published in 1979 (18 years ago), the second edition came out in 1980 (17 years ago), and the third edition came out in 1992 (five years ago). Many libraries must have it. There in the introduction, on page one (I'm remaining calm): To begin with, it may seem strange for a group of films indigenously American to be identified by a French term. This is simply because French critics were the first to discern particular aspects in a number of American productions initially released in France after World War II. They also noticed a thematic resemblance between these motion pictures and certain novels published under the generic title of "Serie Noire." "Serie Noire" and its later publishing competitior, "Fleuve Noire" use the French word for "black" to designate a type of detective fiction. As it happens, the majority of the "Serie Noire" titles were translations of American novels and featured the work of such authors as Hammett, Chandler, James M. Cain, and Horace McCoy. The association between such films as _Double Indemnity_, _Murder My Sweet_, or _The Postman Always Rings Twice_ and the "Serie Noire" novels--which was discussed in a typical article in 1946 under the title: "Americans also make 'noir' films"(1)--was all the more apparent because such films were adapted from, and occasionally by, authors who figured prominently in the "Serie Noire" catalogue. (1) Jean Pierre Chartier, _La Revue du Cinema_, V. I, no. 3 (November 1946). The actual invention of the term "film noir" is attributed to cineaste Nino Frank earlier in 1946. How difficult was that?? How long did that take us--half a minute?? Even a computer title search would turn up Borde and Chaumenton's PANORAMA DU FILM NOIR AMERICAIN (1955). I like solving things and I like to take credit for the things I genuinely solve, but beating Safire and the OED by looking at page one of a standard reference???? Huh? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------------- HOOSIER I did "Hoosier" at the beginning of this year. I discovered a batch of new, 1832 "Hoosier" citations, and stated that I probably would have found more had I had more time in Indiana. Because of the frequent use of the term "Hoosier bait," a "Hoosier" clearly indicates something large, such as a big fish. This came up again several months ago. Maybe we need an ADS-L index? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------------- O.K. SIGN IN TV In TV DICTIONARY: HANDBOOK FOR SPONSORS (1951), edited by Herbert True and published by Sponsor Publications: Directions to talent--O. K. Sign--Form circle with thumb and forefinger--other fingers extended. There's nothing new about this that I didn't find in a similar, earlier dictionary, but it's significant that, as late as 1951, the sign still needs to be explained in such a dictionary. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------------- GAY LIFE I'll get to books using this title perhaps a bit later. The NYPL's Lincoln Center Dance Collection had one clipping about a dance with this "Gay Life" title. It's from the Hearst Sunday Magazine (NY American, LA Examiner, and other newspapers), copyright 1911. A November 1911 date is in an article on the other side of the clipping. "Gay Life" is "An erring woman's dance, portraying her career from the dawn of girlish, innocent beauty, through the old, familiar stages to inevitable despair and death. This is the dance by Louis La Gai, which is said to have 'made Paris Good.' (...) It is said that the dance by Louise La Gai (Louis or Louise?--ed.), at the Theatre Marigny, sent gay Parisian audiences away with tears in their eyes, because of the terrible vividness with which it depicted the temptations which may assail any woman, and because it showed that for the woman to yield meant no end but that of a despairing death. The effect was, perhaps, all the keener because the dance was programmed 'The Gay Life.'" For whatever this is worth, it's a "Gay Life" dance and a choreographer named "Gai" in "Gay Paree." Incidentally, OED has "Gay Paree" for 1930.