Marcel Priollet, Police et cinéma éditions J.Ferenczi, 1920, booklet, 18 x 11 cm. ©BILIPO
The small booklet above, by prolific popular author Marcel Priollet (1884– 1960) was published in 1920. It formed part of the first (1916- 1923) “Le Roman policier” series published by Ferenczi. This publisher was by then well on its way to become a household name in the history of French popular literature . This is an early example of the explicit use of the concept of “Roman policier” (detective novel) in order to cach the attention of the readers. It is therefore an important indicator of the constitution of the crime genre as an autonomous, instantly recognizable entity in that period.
This particular booklet also demonstrates the relationship between popular literature and film. By then the exchanges between the two media have taken a new direction: after the first world war, it is cinema that will influence the detective story, rather than the reverse.