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University Connected Learning
Down-at-the-heels private eyes, immoral women, opportunistic double-crosses--the hard-boiled crime fiction of the 1930s and 40s captured a singularly dark, even nihilistic vision of America during the Great Depression and World War II. In this course we will explore four short, seminal noir novels: "The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett, "The Postman Always Rings Twice" by James M. Cain, "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler, and "In a Lonely Place" by Dorothy B. Hughes. We will delve into the backgrounds of these writers, their times, and their works, and have lively class discussions of the novels themselves (which students should read before each session). Further discussion will touch upon the movie adaptations of these novels and the ways they helped establish a beloved subgenre of both literature and film.