Today in Bucharest is the opening of the Mysteries of Bucharest Festival (Misterele Bucureștiului, June 7 to 9, 2019). This Festival, which is part of the 2019 Romania – France season (Sezonului România – Franța 2019), is organised for the first time this year. It is a partnership between the National Museum of Romanian Literature, the Quais du Polar Festival (Lyons), the French Institute of Romania and the Theater of Romanian Playwrights. Its title pays homage to Ioan M. Bujoreanu’s pioneering (and sole) novel Mistere din Bucureşti, published in two volumes (1862 and 1864), which is generally considered as the first crime fiction novel written in Romanian. Bujoreanu himself was paying homage to the seminal Mysteries of Paris, by Eugène Sue (Les Mystères de Paris), which had appeared as a 90 installments serial in Le Journal des Débats, between June 1842 and October 1843.
Eugène Sue’s success abroad offered a blueprint for the circulation of crime novels (lato sensu) in Europe from the middle of the 19th century. Sue’s Model circulated in fact twice. It was indeed disseminated both through numerous translations of his novel, Les Mystères de Paris, which proliferated throughout Europe, and through the imitation and adaptation of the narrative frame of Urban Mysteries to other European Capital Cities. Los Misteríos de Madrid (Juan Martínez Villergas,1844), The Mysteries of London (G. W. H. Reynolds, 1844-1848), Les Mystères de Bruxelles (Édouard Suau de Varennes, 1844-1846), Die Geheimnisse von Berlin (N.N., 1844) followed in quick succession, setting a European trend (I Misteri di Roma Contemporanea (B. Del Vecchio, 1851-53); Os Mistérios de Lisboa (Camilo Castelo Branco, 1854), which would also disseminate elsewhere. The phenomenon exported to America too, of course, with notably The Mysteries and Miseries of New York (Ned Buntline, 1848)
The Mysteries of Bucharest festival highlights the interconnection between European Popular Cultures. It shows how Crime Fiction speak to Europeans of different languages, cultures, religions and origins. It thus contributes to a better knowledge of cultural Europeanisation and to a renewal of cultural narratives of Europe, beyond national borders, as promoted by the Horizon 2020 Call ” Understanding Europe – Promoting the European public and cultural space” (H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017). It will also give an opportunity to showcase research carried out in the H 2020 funded DETECt project – Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives – which links Today’s crime fiction culture with European cultural heritage.
The full programme of the festival is here
 For more details and examples (in French) see : Les Mystères urbains, directed by Filippos Katsanos, Marie-Ève Thérenty & Helle Waahlberg: http://www.medias19.org/index.php?id=630 and Matthieu Letourneux, “Les ” mystères urbains ”, expression d’une modernité énigmatique.” Alla ricerca delle radici popolari della cultura europea, Looking for the Roots of European Popular Culture, Dec 2009, Bologne, Italie. ffhal-00645212 https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00645212/document