Bilipo

Online exhibition: A History of Crime Fiction in Greece

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The International Crime Fiction Research Group is glad to present a new online exhibition hosted on the Omeka-based online database “Visualising Crime Fiction,” sponsored by the AHRC  (the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council) and the Universities of Belfast, Limoges, and Debrecen, in partnership with the Bilipo. A Brief History of Crime Fiction in Greece was authored by Nikos Filippaios, currently a PhD student at the University of Ioannina, and provides a concise outline of the development of the genre in Greece, with particular attention to the impact of international crime fiction on the local creative industries.

Filippaios starts his overview by stressing the success of the earliest translations of modern popular fiction that arrived from Western Europe in the second half of the 19th century. He then highlights the key transformations of crime narratives in Greece throughout the 20th century, particularly up to the 1980’s, when a new generation of local writers started to use the genre to investigate the troubled national history during the post-war era.

The exhibition is structured in four sections, each dealing with a specific historical moment: Continue reading

The Art of French Crime Fiction

 

Luc Ferran

 

Jef de Wulf (Publisher’s advertisement for the Luc Ferran Series, Editions de l’Arabesque, 1958-1969)

Until the 21st of March, Queen’s University Library will host an exhibition on classic Crime Fiction, Spy Thrillers and Suspense Series in France. The exhibition showcases some of the 1,500 Crime Fiction books in the French language, which have been recently added to the collections, having recently been donated to the Library by the Paris-based Bibliothèque des Littératures policières (BILIPO) and other partners in the project “Visualising European Crime Fiction”. This project, led by Dr Dominique Jeannerod (School of Modern Languages) together with colleagues in the ICRH Research Group, International Crime Fiction was awarded a grant by the AHRC, as part of the Big Data in the Arts and Humanities Framework (2014-2015)

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The project’s chief task was to develop innovative digital methods with which to bibliographically record (database) and visually present (Graphs, Maps, Dataviz) the innumerable volumes of Crime Fiction published across Europe since the early 20th Century. The aim in developing such new digital instruments was to rethink the significance of popular culture and its dissemination in a globalised world. It was also to reconsider the role of crime fiction in a transnational, cultural and literary context. Continue reading

Early Crime Fiction Series around 1900

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With thanks to Philippe Aurousseau and courtesy of  oncle-archibald.BlogSpot

The 62 volumes of the adventures of  French Amateur Detective Marc Jordan were one of the earliest  French publisher’s series devoted to crime  fiction . The publisher was Ferenczi, whose publishing house would soon become a cornerstone of Popular Fiction in France.   From September 1907  readers could purchase every Tuesday, at a price of 25 centimes,  the last instalment in the Exploits surprenants du plus grand détective Français.  The following year (1908) the Éclair company, would release Nick Carter, le roi des detectives, the silent film directed by Victorin Jasset, highlighting the parallels between  Marc Jordan and the American detective Nick Carter. Nick Carter Detective Library had started in 1891. Street & Smith would then publish a magazine, Nick Carter Weekly, until 1915.  It was in some  respects  a template for Ferenczi’s Marc Jordan.

Each  issue  of Marc Jordan’s adventures consisted of 32 pages (22 x 27 cm). The covers were  illustrated  by painters and cartoonists  Edouard Yrondy  (1 to 42)  Hickx (43 to 46), Michel Ronceray (No. 47 to 52) and Marco (No. 53 in 62). Continue reading

Police & Cinema, 1920

Police et Cinéma

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.

Simenon in the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal

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«O cão amarelo», Lisboa, Empresa Nacional de Publicidade, 1939? (Le Chien jaune, Fayard, 1931)  First Title in the Series «Romances policiais de Georges Simenon».

Georges Simenon, 1903-1989: mais do que Maigret  is the title of the exhibition with which  the  Portuguese national library  currently ( 8th January to 18th April) commemorates the 25th anniversary of Simenon’s death. The exhibition shows  first Portuguese editions of his novels. These  were translated in Portugal from the early 1930s’. The curators of the exhibition contribute to understand the global (and intermedia) appeal of an author who, with 550 million copies sold, ranks as the third most widely read French language writer, after Jules Verne and Alexandre Dumas.

The first Portuguese translation of a work by Georges Simenon  was  the novel  Condenado à morte (Sentenced to death, for La Tête d’un homme, 1931) , published in 1932 in the Os Melhores Romances Policiais  Series, directed by Adolfo Coelho, for the publisher Clássica Editora. By the end of the decade, Simenon’s success was such that he  was published in a separate series : Romances policiais de Georges Simenon (Empresa Nacional de Publicidade). One of his most  popular novels, The Yellow Dog , translated by Adolfo Casais Monteiro started the new series.

For more information on the BNP and the exhibition :

http://www.bnportugal.pt

http://www.bnportugal.pt/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=997%3Aexposicao-georges-simenon-1903-1989-mais-do-que-maigret-8-jan-18-abr-15&catid=165%3A2015&Itemid=1019&lang=pt

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International Detective Fiction (1927-1966): The Authors

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Mignon Good Eberhart (USA, 1899- 1996)

Crime Fiction is an international genre. It is well-known that several countries have collaborated to its invention. Exchanges  and reciprocal influences between the US (Poe), France (Vidocq, Gaboriau) and England (Wilkie Collins, Conan Doyle), in particular, have been crucial in shaping it in the 19th Century.  Publishers and Magazines have driven the translation of works of  foreign crime fiction, creating international trends and reception patterns.  Publishing industries, in the 20th Century have spread internationally. Continue reading

Visualising a collection of 2075 books : The “Spécial-Police” authors

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(click to enlarge)

The picture above is based on the total of books published by each of the authors who contributed to the legendary “Spécial Police” Series. Launched in 1949 it helped turning its publishing house, Fleuve Noir, into France’s most successful popular literature publisher. When it stopped, in 1987 it  had published  generations of new authors. The biggest names on the words representation above are the biggest contributors. Georges J. Arnaud, Mario Ropp (aka Maïa Devillers), Peter Randa (aka André Duquesne),  Adam Saint Moore (aka Jacques Douyau)  and of course San-Antonio (aka Frédéric Dard) feature here prominently.  But many important names in the history of French Noir, as well as those of well-liked, prolific authors can be found here too.  André Helena, Léo Malet, Serge Laforest,  Jean Mazarin, Roger Vilard,  M.G. Braun (aka Maurice-Gabriel Brault), André Lay  and many more.

Crime Fiction before WW1 : The Albert Méricant series

Méricant romans policiers

(As always, click (twice) the picture to enlarge)

(With thanks to Philippe Aurousseau, & Courtesy of Oncle-Archibald.blogspot.fr)

Parisian  publisher Albert Méricant launched Les Romans Policiers in 1911, one of the very first series worldwide to be explicitly  devoted  to Crime Fiction.French author  George Meirs  (Jean-Rémy Machoux 1878-1962) penned there two cycles of adventures of English characters. The first was devoted to the adventures of William Tharps, a textual cousin of Sherlock Holmes; the second, to  the adventures of Walter Clarck.