Month: January 2015

The Lost and the Blind

The Lost and the Blind, Declan Burke

The Lost and the blind by Declan Burke, modernist Irish Noir author and heir to Flann O’Brien  and Raymond Chandler was published last month. It is  the author’s sixth novel, and it is a milestone.

American Blurbs

US4Knights of arabia

Knights Of Arabia (Bérurier au sérail), Paperback Library, New York, 1970 (Collection Didier Poiret)

The San-Antonio series published in the early 1970’s by the Paperback Library (New York) carried a blurb text on their front page. Still, the backpage was the site of promotional superlatives too. The emphasis was put here more explicitly  on sales figures than on storytelling or other literary merits. The rhetorical force  of 24 Million Copies sold in France always seem to trump the hackneyed praise  reproduced there, however rich in colourfoul adjectives and metaphors.

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“The anti-establisment Hero who’s taking the States by Storm”

USThe hatchet man

The Hatchet Man (Vas-y Béru) Paperback Library (New York), 1970

The American publication of San-Antonio novels in the early 1970’s  consists in mere reprints, with  different covers (but the same illustration)  of the translations published in England in the late 1960’s.   Most of the translations are from  Cyril Buhler. What is original on these “First American Publications” is the blurb, printed on the cover. Here, this most hyperbolic of commercial communications takes place, not only on the back page as is traditional, but on the front page already, for maximum attention.

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Non verbis, sed rebus : a Farewell to Honoré


Philippe Honoré was killed yesterday in Paris. He was one of the victims of  the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the bloodiest terrorist attack in the French capital since 1835’s “machine infernale” on the Boulevard du Temple. He was loved by French Fans of Crime Fiction, who found his drawings in Charlie Hedbo, and in publications such as Le Magazine littéraire,  Le Monde and Les Inrockuptibles. In the monthly mainstream literary magazine Lire, he published his famous Rebus, the  “Rébus d’Honoré”. They mainly consisted in pictograms representing names of authors, title of literary works, or famous quotes in rebus form. The following (see below) is for example Honoré’s representation of the American inventor of Crime Fiction. Continue reading

A Homage to Georges Wolinski

Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous and  Wolinski were killed today in Paris, together with 7 other victims. It is as if somebody wanted to tear off pages after pages of the history of illustrated press.  Stating that their names are legendary does not  begin to describe how important and influential they were for generations of readers and illustrators in France. They were cartoonists, satirists,  artists and journalists.  Cabu, and Wolinski  have been with many of us ever since we could read. They used to make us laugh loud. This is the first time they make us sad. The BNF, the French National Libray, had devoted an important exhibition, in 2012, to a retrospective of Wolinksi’s rich and very diverse career. His association with Crime Fiction  manifested itself in his illustrations for the book covers of the San-Antonio Series in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Each of these books sold at the time 600 000 copies.Wolinski’s iconic drawings were recognised by millions. Readers and admirers  of his dozens of albums and collaborations to some 40 newspapers are in shock and disbelief.

  Wolinski tarte Wolinski, Valsez Wolinski Wolinskiabdr Wolinskicavale WolinskiCoc

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