Gallimard’s ill-fated Série Blême (1949-1951) is one of the most elegant and attractive Series of Crime Fiction. It is also one of the most prestigious, and appealing, literarily. It shows the dedication of the Series’ general editor, in his role as a selector of texts. Publishing a series is an act of mediation. It involves mediating between authors (carefully chosen on the basis of a set of objective and subjective criteria) and readers, whose taste the series seeks to educate. In this case, Marcel Duhamel (also the editor of the Série Noire) was committed to highlight through this series a literary evolution he saw within the noir genre. The evolution from the early Black Mask “hardboiled” stories, driven by the action, to a more subjective, introspective and psychological thriller, the novel of suspense. Continue reading
(Total number of titles with exclamation marks, by series)
The following pie charts represent the varied use of three types of punctuation signs in the titles of all the novels published in the three longest series of Crime Fiction in France : Le Masque (Librairie des Champs-Elysées), La Série Noire (Gallimard), and Spécial-Police (Fleuve Noir). While the amount of books published in all three series is roughly comparable (all three series have published more than 2000 books each), there are manifest discrepancies in their use of punctuation marks. Continue reading
Starting in 1930, The Detection Club is more than just a literary society of authors, writing detective stories in English. Its founding members, Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Dorothy L. Sayers, Freeman Wills Crofts and many others all had an immense influence on the perception, establishment and dissemination of the Crime Genre worldwide. Continue reading
(click to enlarge)
The proportional Word cloud above shows the influence of British authors in Italy. It is based on the numbers of their books published in Italian translation in the leading Giallo Mondadori Series, which was launched in 1929. Continue reading
This words-Viz is based on the titles of the first books published in France, in the Series “Le Masque”, from 1927. Most books were translated from the English language, as the publisher claimed (somewhat disingenuously), that there were not enough Crime Fiction Writers in France at the time. Continue reading
This post compares three ways of presenting, i.e of making present, more than hundred years after their initial publication, one of the very first series of Crime Fiction novels. As such, and for the beauty of its distinctive cover art, Taillandier’s “Les Romans Mystérieux” is an iconic series.
What are the respective advantages of Datavisualisation, reproduction of pictorial archives, and the listing of Metadata prepared on the basis of Public Library records? What are the stories told by each type of representation ? What are the facts and ideas that emerge from each one? And how do the three ways of viewing Crime Fiction enrich each other, how do they contextualise and materialise the texts ? And how do they succeed in translating inscriptions and records into a sensible reality ?
(With thanks to Philippe Aurousseau, & Courtesy of Oncle-Archibald.blogspot.fr)
Starting more than hundred years ago, in 1910, this series of “mysterious novels” is one of the great ancestors of Modern Crime Fiction Series. At a time when the booklet format was very widespread, these books were instead large volumes of 250 to 300 pages. They were beautifully illustrated by Félix-Pol Jobbé-Duval (1879-1961) and Robert Salles (1871-1929). Continue reading
Vic St Val is both the main character in the eponymous series narrating his adventures, and the pseudonym under which authors Patrice Dard and Gilles Morris-Dumoulin published them. This excellent and very documented series was well-liked by its readers. The books were informed and informative, politically and scientifically. Vic Saint-Val is still familiar to many, as it probably influenced a famous Belmondo movie (Bob Saint-Clair, in Philippe de Broca’s Le Magnifique, 1973). St Val’s considerable output formed an important part of the Series “Espiomatic” (Fleuve Noir). Author Morris-Dumoulin claimed that his hero’s Adventures are a plea in 64 volumes for the protection of the environment, of the planet, and of human rights. The following is a visual story of Vic St Val in 7 illustrations. Continue reading
26 February 2015 – 21 June 2015
183 Euston Road, Bloomsbury, London NW1 2BE
Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime is the Wellcome’s Collection new exhibition. The display of original evidence, archival material, photographic documentation, film footage and forensic instruments is destined to challenge the familiar views of forensic medicine shaped by crime fiction. Crime writer Val McDermid will, on this occasion, present her book, also titled Forensics: The anatomy of Crime, tomorrow ( the 26th) at 19 :00.
Bullitt, the movie with Steve McQueen features a scene often seen as the mother of filmic car chases. Certainly, cars speeding at full force of their engines, as an ambivalent proxy for escape and death, industrial perfection and doomed individual freedom are a token of many classic film noirs. There are memorable ones in Fritz Lang, Becker, Jules Dassin, Melville, to name but a few. Among what sets Bullitt’s chase apart from the preceding ones and makes it so influential for subsequent directors (and striking for us), is certainly the sense of time and location it is embued with. It was filmed in San Francisco and close surroundings in the spring of 1968.
Covering so much space through its streets, the movie maps in effect San Francisco. But of course, and this is one of the sources for its fascination now, it is a San Francisco which does no longer exist. Mapping the film, in return, is akin…
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