In Defence of ‘Noir Theory’: Laruelle, Deleuze, and Other Detectives

Coley, Rob (2020) In Defence of ‘Noir Theory’: Laruelle, Deleuze, and Other Detectives. Theory, Culture & Society, 37 (3). pp. 123-144. ISSN 0263-2764

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In Defence of 'Noir Theory': Laruelle, Deleuze, and Other Detectives
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What happens when theory falters? A concern with the anthropocentric limitations of critical thought dominates contemporary cultural theory. For Joanna Zylinska, however, this concern often reflects a longstanding humanist anxiety, one that is today renewed in the form of ‘noir theory’, a reactionary scholarship that redeems the universalist human as the subject of reason. There is, though, more than one mode of noir theory, and a certain tendency of ‘noir’ affords the basis for theorizing another kind of universalism, a non-reactionary account of the real. This article takes seriously the allusion to noir as a particular mode of detection. Its investigation begins with Gilles Deleuze, who commends crime fiction for providing an image of thought that works against humanist orthodoxy. Yet present circumstances demand investigating a blacker kind of noir, one that operates negatively, a noir theory that can be detected in the strange realism of François Laruelle.

Keywords:noir, cultural theory, Gilles Deleuze, François Laruelle, posthumanities, detection, negative, continental philosophy
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
L Social studies > L370 Social Theory
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:37067
Deposited On:16 Sep 2019 09:00

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