A collection of short stories by Peter Cheyney

Cheyney

(Images from Didier Poiret’s collections)

Peter Cheyney (1896-1951) was the first author published in the Série Noire, in 1945.  Marcel Duhamel, the series’ director had translated two of his books during the war. His success in France got the Series off to a good start and many more of his novels were published as part of it. Nonetheless, the Série Noire fetishized noir novels and did not publish short stories. This is why the collection No ordinary Cheyney, translated  as  Du pas banal, by  Jean Weil (Paris, 1949) was published with a different publisher, the newly created “Presses de la cité”, which was soon to become an arch-rival for Gallimard’s Série Noire. Duhamel’s dilemma was to either sacrifice his ideas for the series, and risk disorienting his readers; or strengthen a dynamic competitor with an author who was the international best seller of the time. That Duhamel chose the principles and the series’ unity might explain  how he succedded in creating and maintaining such a distinctive and long lasting identity.

pasbanal

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s