With thanks to Donald Nicholson-Smith
“Foreign Bodies” is the title of a promising, pioneering series of international crime fiction that never was. It was planned as a series of French Crime Fiction translated into English and published in America. The project had been drafted almost two decades ago by the former member of the Situationist International, Donald Nicholson-Smith, the translator of Debord’s Society of Spectacle, Vaneigem’s The Revolution of Everyday life, Lefebvre’s The Production of space and other key texts. Nicholson-Smith is also the translator of the quintessential French Noir author, Jean-Patrick Manchette, whose situationist trajectory mirrored his. It is not only regrettable but also damaging for the understanding of the international Noir genre in the English speaking world that this series never saw the light of day. The contemporary surge of French Noir in English translation due to publishers such as Pushkin Vertigo, Gallic Books, or NYRB might be seen as an opportunity to revisit Nicholson-Smith’s project. Continue reading
Frédéric Dard – The Wicked go to Hell (translated by David Coward), Pushkin Vertigo, 06.08.2016. Original title Les salauds vont en enfer, 1956
A review by Eugen Kontschenko
“I hope the good Lord above will be with you… Either the good Lord… or the Devil, because hell is where you’re going!” (Page 14) Continue reading
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
Frédéric Dard, Cette mort dont tu parlais (1957), 1393
北方妇女儿童出版社, 1988 (Frédéric Dard, Mausolée pour une garce, originally published as Les Derniers mystères de Paris, Fleuve Noir, 1958)
With thanks to Didier Poiret, Thierry Gautier & Yue Ma,
As its original title suggested (Les Derniers mystères de Paris) the book whose Chinese cover is shown above was conceived by its author, Frédéric Dard, as a great popular novel in the tradition of Eugène Sue’s Mysteries of Paris. Sue’s was one of the first novels serialised in the French press (it was published in the Journal des Débats between June 1842 and October 1843). Its latent ideologies were vigorously criticised by Karl Marx, who debunked ( in The Holy Family, 1845), its paternalist views and bourgeois moralism.
It is therefore surprising and more than a little ironic that Dard’s homage to Sue, published in Chinese in 1988 by Northern China Women & Children Publishing House in Chang Chun (in the north-eastern Province of Jilin) should be presented as a criticism of bourgeois society. The novel is prefaced in this edition by a short introduction which frames it ideologically, blaming capitalist worldviews for the corruption and ultimate demise of Agnes, the “garce” (i.e. the bitch) of the original title.
Arnaldur Indridason, Kleifarvatn (The Draining Lake), 2004
Noir in the North
16-17 November 2016
University of Iceland
By Daniel Magennis, M.A. Candidate, Queen’s University, Belfast
Thrillers which take Troubles-era Ireland as their subject matter form a distinct genre in their own right. The Troubles Thriller, or Troubles Trash, as it is sometimes known, has become the primary form of literary representation of Northern Ireland and its benighted capital Belfast (which has itself been described as “the noirest city on earth”). While the novels might be didactically unremarkable and have done little to challenge the tabloid representations on offer, some met with considerable commercial success both within and outside of the English-speaking world.