In my search for a workable definition of sword & sorcery (but it’s more complicated than that) I landed in what is, apparently, a pretty far-away place: David N. Meyer’s A Girl and a Gun: the complete guide to Film Noir on Video.
Published in 1998 by Avon Books, Meyer’s delightful book was essential in building my noir movie collection, and in helping me discover a lot of movies I would otherwise have missed.
And sure, books like The Encyclopedia of Film Noir by Alain Silver (and a lot of other books by Silver and his associates) are more in-depth and technical, but as a fast and easy gateway to noir, Meyer’s almost 20-years-old book remains unsurpassed.
Now, I thought of Meyer’s book because Meyer’s book defines noir through example – and that’s what I usually do with my friends and colleagues when we try and define sword & sorcery. We may start with a working definition or a bit of history (just as Meyer does), but then we end up listing movies and books. Continue reading