« Les cauchemars sont des choses personnelles qui deviennent ridicules lorsqu’on essaie de les raconter. Il faut les vivre, seulement les vivre… »
Frédéric Dard (Le monte-charge) p. 149
(“Nightmares are personal things that become absurd when you try to tell them to other people. You can experience them, that’s all you can do…”)
Originally published in 1961 by the enormously prolific, and yet little-known in the English speaking world, Frédéric Dard (1921 – 2000), Le monte-charge has been translated and released this year by Pushkin Press as Bird in a Cage.
An unerringly dark read, Bird in a Cage is a satisfying twist on the Christmas whodunnit. With a narrative propelled as much by chance happenings as characters’ choices, this short novel (128 pages in the English edition) will pose as many questions as it will answer and will surely thwart any Christmas cheer. It is 2016 after all…
Yves Allégret, Les Orgueilleux, 1953
The French actress Michèle Morgan died yesterday in Paris, aged 96. She was the last great surviving icon of the age of Poetic Realism. This distinctively French expressionist style and mood from the 1930’s anticipated Film Noir. Her early screen persona was that of a teenage femme fatale (most notably as Nelly, in Carné’s 1938 Port of Shadows and in Grémillon’s Stormy Waters, for which filming started in 1939 ). This image captivated generations of movie goers, and film makers. The mythic aura she instantly acquired became a kind of curse as the decades went by. Morgan seemed increasingly trapped in the distant past of a disappeared world, in a cinematic moment which had been nostalgic to begin with. Most memorably, she starred in movies by classic poetic realist and noir directors, such as Marcel Carné, Jean Grémillon, Julien Duvivier and Yves Allégret, but also in films by Jean Delannoy and Michael Curtiz. Missing out to Ingrid Bergman for Casablanca, she co-starred with Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre on another Curtiz directed war Film, Passage to Marseille.
With thanks to Benoît Tadié
Fri 25th November 6.30pm, No Alibis, 83, Botanic Avenue, Belfast
An evening of chat about Crime Fiction on the Emerald Isle with Declan Burke, John Connolly and Others
Thrilling, disturbing, shocking and moving, Trouble Is Our Business: New Stories by Irish Crime Writers is a compulsive anthology of original stories by Ireland’s best-known crime writers.
Patrick McGinley, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Colin Bateman, Eoin McNamee, Ken Bruen, Paul Charles, Julie Parsons, John Connolly, Alan Glynn, Adrian McKinty, Arlene Hunt, Alex Barclay, Gene Kerrigan, Eoin Colfer, Declan Hughes, Cora Harrison, Brian McGilloway, Stuart Neville, Jane Casey, Niamh O’Connor, William Ryan Murphy, Louise Phillips, Sinéad Crowley, Liz Nugent
Irish crime writers have long been established on the international stage as bestsellers and award winners. Now, for the first time ever, the best of contemporary Irish crime novelists are brought together in one volume.
Edited by Declan Burke, the anthology embraces the crime genre’s traditional themes of murder, revenge, intrigue, justice and redemption. These stories engage with the full range of crime fiction incarnations: from police procedurals to psychological thrillers, domestic noir to historical crime – but there’s also room for the supernatural, the futuristic, the macabre.
As Emerald Noir blossoms into an international phenomenon, there has never been a more exciting time to be a fan of Irish crime fiction.
‘This collection can be confidently recommended to anyone who reads any type of crime fiction. They will find something to tease and tantalise their inner detective.’ – The Irish Times
‘Trouble Is Our Business is one of the essential literary fiction compendiums in Irish publishing this year.’ – Sunday Independent
‘A crime anthology certain to keep you on the edge of your seat’ – The Sunday Times
About the Editor
Declan Burke is a writer, editor, journalist and critic. He has published six crime novels, several of which were shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards, edited Down These Green Streets: Irish Crime Writing in the 21st Century, and co-edited, with John Connolly, the award-winning Books to Die For. His novel Absolute Zero Cool won the Goldsboro ‘Last Laugh’ Award.
Saturday November 5th, 2016
Room, C-104, American University of Paris, Combes building,
6, rue du Colonel Combes. 75007 Paris
08h30 – 09h00 – Registration
09h00 – 09h15 – Welcoming remarks (Alice Craven & Russell Williams)
09h15 – 10h45 – Panel one, ‘Contextualising Noir Transnationally’, chair – Lucas Hollister
Natacha Levet (Université de Limoges), “Translating America through the Série Noire, from Marcel Duhamel to Aurélien Masson”
Alistair Rolls (University of Newcastle, Australia), Clara Sitbon (University of Sydney) and Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan (University of Newcastle, Australia), “Making Marcel Duhamel a Great Man for French Crime Fiction”
Benoît Tadié (Université Rennes 2), “Along the Ideological Divide: Female, Gay and Lesbian Noir between American paperback collections and the Série Noire”
10h45 – 11h00 – Pause
11h00 – 11h45 – Plenary session one
Dominique Jeannerod (Queens University, Belfast), “Spectres of French Noir: the long shadow of the Série Noire in French Literature and Culture”
11h45 – 13h30 – Lunch
13h30 – 15h00 – Panel two, ‘The Challenges of Noir: Translation and Transformation’, chair – Alice Craven
Cécile Cottenet (Université Aix-Marseille), “The transatlantic economics of the Série Noire”
Sophie Bélot (University of Sheffield), “Jean-Luc Godard’s conflict with-in the Série Noire”
Tyechia Lynn Thompson (Howard University), “Text Mining Race and Travel in Chester Himes’s Ne nous enervons pas!, The Heat’s On, and Cotton Comes to Harlem”
15h00 – 15h15 – Pause
15h15 – 16h45 –Panel three, ‘Close-up on the néo polar’, chair – Russell Williams
Sophie Vallas (Université Aix-Marseille), “Jerome Charyn’s noir New York and its French echoes”
Jean-Philippe Gury (Université de Bretagne Occidentale), “Amila, Série Noire et province”
Lucas Hollister (Dartmouth College), “Jean-Patrick Manchette, Alain Delon and the politics of French hard-boiled masculinity”
16h45-17h00 – Pause
17h00 – 18h00 – Panel four, ‘21st Century Noir’, chair – TBC
Jean Anderson (Victoria University of Wellington), “Noir (enfin) de femme… women of the Série noire”
Alice Jacquelin (Université de Poitiers), “Benoît Minville et Pierric Guittaut: l’avènement d’un country noir à la française?”
18h00 – Refreshments served
18h00 – 19h30 – Plenary session two
Aurélien Masson (Série Noire), Dominique Manotti (novelist) and Russell Williams (AUP) in conversation
October 14, 2016
9.00-10.00 Registration (for speakers only), Pinni B Main Lobby
10.00-10.15 Opening of the symposium
10.15-11.15 Keynote speaker: Dr Christiana Gregoriou, University of Leeds: “On Novelisation: The Case of The Killing”
11.45-13.15 Session 1
- 11.45-12.15: Dr Veronique Desnain, University of Edinburgh, UK: “Fiction versus History in the French Neo-polar”
- 12.15-12.45: Dr Anna Pehkoranta, University of Jyväskylä, Finland: “Whose Crime? Guilt, Innocence, and the Weight of History in Yiyun Li’s Kinder Than Solitude”
- 12.45-13.15: Dr John A. Stotesbury, University of Eastern Finland/Joensuu: “The Crime Scene as Museum: The (Re)construction in the Bresciano Series of a Historical Gibraltarian Past”
14.15-15.15 Session 2
- 14.15-14.45: Dr Eric Sandberg, University of Oulu, Finland: “Thomas Pynchon and the Rise of the Crime Novel”
- 14.45-15.15: Dr Aino-Kaisa Koistinen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland: “Nordic Noir and the Affective Politics of Violence”
15.30-17.00 Session 3
- 15.30-16.00: MA Carola Maria Wide, University of Vaasa, Finland: “Woman in Red and the Abject in Unni Lindell’s Crime Thriller Rødhette”
- 16.00-16.30: Dr Andrea Hynynen, University of Turku, Finland: “Rethinking Queer, the Anti-normative and Politics in French Crime Fiction Studies”
- 16.30-17.00: Dr Tiina Mäntymäki, University of Vaasa, Finland: “Encountering the (Non-)human Other in Swedish Crime Series Jordskott”
CFP: ACLA conference (Utrecht, 6-9 July 2017)
Since Raymond Chandler published the “Simple Art of Murder” (1944), a distinction has been made between the worldliness of the American hardboiled tradition (“It’s not a very fragrant world, but it’s the world you live in,” Chandler said of Hammett’s fiction) and the artificial, unrealistic and detached “Cheesecake Manor” of the classic detective novel. Moreover, there is a tendency in crime fiction studies to distinguish between the Anglo-American practice of crime writing and specific national crime traditions, the study of which has focused on how national crime fiction texts differ from the universalising Anglo-American norm. Both these distinctions have traditionally resulted in nation-centric readings of the genre as it has developed in specific countries and cultures.
This seminar seeks to further develop our understanding of this global genre that began with “Crime Fiction as World Literature” (ACLA 2015) and “Translating Crime: Production, Transformation and Reception” (ACLA 2016). To this end, we invite contributions that attempt to “world” the crime genre (Kadir 2004), to explore the genre’s worldliness within, but also beyond, specific national traditions.
The seminar explores three main ideas:
1) The “presence of the world within the nation” (Damrosch 2015) – the ways in which seemingly nationally-bounded novels engage with the world beyond the nation in which they originate
2) Worlding classic detective fiction – to what degree is Chandler’s reading accurate? Does it hold when this sub-genre is taken up by authors writing outside the British-American norm, either in languages other than English or writers from peripheral English (Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.) contexts.
3) The relationship between readers and international texts. How do readers experience the world of crime fiction when reading from afar? How important is “the locus where the fixed foot of the compass that describes the globalizing circumscription is placed” (Kadir 2)? In what ways does a global consciousness emerge through the interaction between readers and international texts? Is the location of the reader as important as the origin of the text?
Potential participants are encouraged to contact the organisers before submitting abstracts through the ACLA portal.
Stewart King, Monash University: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Jesper Gulddal, University of Newcastle: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Alistair Rolls, University of Newcastle: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Deadline for abstracts is 11:59 PM Pacific Time on 23rd September.
Dr Stewart King
An encouraging article by Dalya Alberge in The Observer marks the first publication in English of one of the “Novels of the night” (romans de la nuit) by Frédéric Dard. The much anticipated Bird in a Cage, (Le Monte Charge), translated by David Bellos, is out this month, published by Pushkin Vertigo.
While recognising the oddity that the books of one of France’s foremost crime fiction authors (better known under the penname San-Antonio) have been overlooked until now by English-language publishers, the article sees current trends and taste in the crime genre as particularly suited to the discovery of his psychological thrillers by British readers. Tout vient à point à qui sait attendre, as the saying goes, and now seems at least to look like “ a particularly good time for Dard’s novels to be coming into English”. The next translation, The Wicked Go to Hell (Les Salauds vont en enfer) will be published in August, followed in October by Crush (Les Scélérats). Both novels were adapted to the screen : the first starring, memorably, Marina Vlady, in 1955, the other (English title, The Wretches) with the great Michelle Morgan in 1960.
Presented as “The literary descendant of Simenon and Céline” and as “one of the few twentieth-century authors to win both critical acclaim and great popularity”, Frédéric Dard (1921-2000) will be introduced this year to English readers with some of his darker novels. Pushkin Vertigo will publish, starting in June with Bird in a cage (Le Monte -charge), and continuing with The Executioner Cries, available in Autumn 2016, a selection of his romans de la nuit. It is an euphemism to say, that, some sixty years after their original publication in French, this event has been hugely anticipated.
Even more so, as the translation of Bird in a cage is by David Bellos, Professor in Princeton, and whose translations include several of Georges Simenon’s Maigret novels.
The English title is interesting as it deviates from the original (which would translate as “the Elevator”- or the “Lift”, but could possibly have been translated – as originally announced- as “The Switch” -a title already taken by Elmore Leonard) and focuses on one important detail in the story, highlighting thus the precision of the fine machinery in Dard’s art of storytelling. In doing so, it replaces the implicit filmic reference to Louis Malle’s 1958 Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) with another one, to Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 Le Samouraï. This is made explicit by the cover art chosen by Pushkin Vertigo. Compare the image on the covert with this still of Alain Delon in Le Samouraï. The parallelism is apt, as both stories are tales of isolation and entrapment, of existential angst and wounded, alienated masculinities.
“Frédéric Dard (1921-2000) was one of the best known and loved French crime writers of the twentieth century. Enormously prolific, he wrote more than three hundred thrillers, suspense stories, plays and screenplays, under a variety of noms de plume, throughout his long and illustrious career, which also saw him win the 1957 Grand prix de littérature policiere for The Executioner Cries” (Biographic note taken from the publisher’s presentation of Bird in a cage)