Month: March 2015

Four Ways Sean Penn’s Gunman shot itself in the foot

the-gunman

It would be severe to assess the value of The Gunman, the blockbuster featuring Sean Penn, for its own merits as a work of art, in its chosen medium. Continue reading

The German San-Antonio Series (Bastei Verlag)

Bastei19

 Initiated by the publisher  Bastei Verlag ( Gustav H. Lübbe ),  in Bergisch -Gladbach,  an attempt was made to publish the San-Antonio series in Germany. The “Kommissar from Paris” was even given his own series, like in France, where it had only in he early 1970’s started to be the case (after more than 20 years of being part of the “Spécial-Police” Series).  The translation of the books into German started in 1973 . Twenty-two titles were  thus published until  1975.  As the picture above shows, San-Antonio was marketed  as  a sort of Gallic James Bond. A French double of Sean Connery. Continue reading

Deutschland: Krimiland – The crime fiction landscape in German television

 Schuld

By Annika Breinig

Germany’s television programme is overwhelmingly saturated with crime series. From the afternoon till the late night hours, a lavish bouquet of criminal stories is offered to the audience. Obviously, there are crime series from the United States, such as CSI or Navy CIS, running at prime-time and enjoying a broad fan-base. Further there are European productions, such as Sherlock from the UK, the Swedish Wallander or The Killing from Denmark, which attract a solid audience. And last but not least, there are numerous domestic productions, which range between high quality thrillers and trivial every-day crime stories. Regarding those German productions, some recent trends emerge Continue reading

Translating Crime Fiction between the Wars

Trans

(French Translators for Le Masque Series : click to enlarge)

Studying Crime Fiction Series in their cohesion and complexity, rather than works and authors for their originality, presents a radical departure from the type of literary work traditionally done in academia.  Compared with close reading and textual analysis, this seems a more appropriate way to approach the conditions of production of a material culture, and hence, to better understand Crime Fiction. It takes the  observer away from the ideology sacralising the unique and  celebrating the individual, and promotes  the discovery of the collective and relational nature of what we call literature.  It also requires different tools and poses different research questions.  The shift in  focus helps revealing   a series of phenomena and circumstances, as well as an entire population of agents usually falling under the radar of literary research. Such  is the case of the fascinating, yet totally under-researched subject of translators of crime fiction. Continue reading

Heralding the hero, placing the product

Paquet
Strategies of Self-advertising abound in the San-Antonio Series. There are many visual and textual ways in which the eponymous hero is announced, and promoted. This  integration of the product-name works especially as San-Antonio, the author, doubles as San-Antonio, the character. It is as if Chandler novels were signed Marlowe, or Spillane’s, Mike Hammer. As a result, the cover can be the site of a repetition, the repeated name promoting both an author and a text. Like for  a commercial advertisement, there is no fear of echoes and  redundancy of the message. On the contrary, the reiteration of the name reinforces its capacity to influence.

Polka Gones Beru

  Continue reading

Re-order, re-arrange, re-package: the creation of a distinctive Series’s identity.

cauchemar emily (1) manoir     

Gallimard’s ill-fated Série Blême  (1949-1951) is one of the most elegant and attractive Series of Crime Fiction. It is also one of the most  prestigious, and appealing, literarily.  It shows the dedication of the Series’ general editor, in his role as a selector of texts.  Publishing a series is an act of mediation. It involves mediating between authors (carefully chosen on the basis of a set  of objective and subjective criteria) and readers, whose taste the series seeks to educate. In this case, Marcel Duhamel (also the editor of the Série Noire)  was committed to  highlight through this series a literary evolution he saw  within the noir genre.  The evolution from the early Black Mask “hardboiled” stories, driven by the action, to a more subjective, introspective and psychological thriller, the novel of suspense. Continue reading

The 2015 Petrona Award shortlist is revealed!

Mrs. Peabody Investigates

Six high-quality crime novels from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have made the shortlist of the 2015 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, which is announced today.

  • THE HUMMINGBIRD by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston                         (Arcadia Books; Finland)
  • THE HUNTING DOGS by Jørn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce                              (Sandstone Press; Norway)
  • REYKJAVIK NIGHTS by Arnaldur Indriðason tr. Victoria Cribb                        (Harvill Secker; Iceland)
  • THE HUMAN FLIES by Hans Olav Lahlum tr. Kari Dickson                               (Mantle; Norway)
  • FALLING FREELY, AS IF IN A DREAM by Leif G W Persson tr. Paul Norlen (Doubleday; Sweden)
  • THE SILENCE…

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German Markets: the Ullstein Yellow Series

Leroux

The Ullstein Verlag, founded in Berlin in 1877, was one of the most  active  and successful agents on the market of entertainment publications in Germany. One year after Le Masque in France, and one year before Mondadori, in Italy, it too launched a series of yellow mass market Crime Fiction books : Ullstein Gelbe Reihe was started in 1928. Continue reading