NoirThe first subject of the Notebooks was that of Noir, the American crime fiction circa 1940s-50s that the French so admire. I was living in France at the time, and I think I also riffed on Columbo’s note pad, the idea of a detective jotting down important data as he went through the case. All the more amusing because Philip Marlowe never used a pad and it was his world I most channeled. Not gangsters so much, but low-lifes and marginals, peripherals, small-timers, grifters. Ordinary folk caught up in the action.