Les salauds vont en enfer, Play by Frédéric Dard, Edited, introduced and annotated by : Hugues Galli, Thierry Gautier & Dominique Jeannerod, EUD, 2015, 238 pp.
Frédéric Dard was France’s most popular Crime Fiction author. Besides his career as a novelist, Dard was a prolific playwright, screenwriter and dialogue writer. The recent discovery and subsequent publication (EUD, 2015) of an original manuscript of the successful Play Les salauds vont en enfer allows to retrace the circuits of cultural creation in 1950’s France and the interrelation between various media and narrative forms. Created in the Grand Guignol Theatre in Paris in 1954 and directed by Robert Hossein, the play went on to experience a series of transpositions. First, in 1955, on screen (also directed by Robert Hossein), then as a novel, when in early 1956, it was novelised as a roman noir by Frédéric Dard, the author of the play. In 1971, Abdal Iskar adapted it as television film. A wealth of archives, generously shared by collectors and the author’s family have helped reconstructing the story of the play’s reincarnations and exportations. But working closely on the text of the play for this first edition (six decades after it had been written) also highlighted the importance of the international and intermedia horizons in the creation, as they are both already there in the author’s inspiration. Most of the following pictures, which document the variations and interpretations from media to media and in different countries, are reproduced in this edition, where they are fully referenced. Continue reading