The San-Antonio International conference took place last week end at Queen’s University, Belfast, under the aegis of the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities and the School of Modern Languages. It gathered specialists, scholars, collectors and members of the public from around the world. They came to discuss (in French, mostly) the immense body of work left by one of France’s most famous popular writers, Frédéric Dard, aka San-Antonio. Joséphine Dard, his daugther, attended the conference and took part in the discussions. People came together who don’t normally get to talk together. Genuinely multidisciplinary, the conference relied on expertise from various fields (from American Studies to Linguistics, from Cultural History to Literature studies), on public and private collections, and on new digital tools. The multiplicity of approaches and expertise allowed to tackle precise research questions on a defined and contained (if vast) corpus of texts Continue reading
San-Antonio, Passez-moi la Joconde, In Detektiv Francii, 7, Moscow, Renaissance, 1993
With thanks to Didier Poiret
Passez-moi la Joconde, one of the earliest novels by San-Antonio (1954) formed part of an anthology of French Detective fiction published in Russia. The anthology contains five novels. San-Antonio’s is the last one. There is no sense of chronology, nor apparent attention paid to genre distinctions or any other criteria of classification. It would be an interesting question for a quizz to try and guess what the five (or six) French authors (see below) have in common: Boileau-Narcejac ; Didier Daeninckx; Vernon Sullivan (aka Boris Vian); Paul Andreotta; San-Antonio
Passez-moi la Joconde, one of the earliest novels by San-Antonio (1954) formed part of an anthology of French Detective fiction published in Russia. The anthology contains five novels.(1) San-Antonio’s is the last one. The collection entirely lacks a sense of chronology’, nor does there seem to have been any attention paid to genre distinctions or any other criteria of classification. It would be an interesting question for a quiz(4) to try and guess what the following five (or six) French authors (see below)(5) have in common: Boileau-Narcejac ; Didier Daeninckx; Vernon Sullivan (aka Boris Vian); Paul Andreotta; San-Antonio.
Welcome to Belfast to all our delegates and participants in the San-Antonio International Conference Continue reading
(Click to enlarge)
Does the word cloud above provide an answer to the question asked in the title of this post ? And is that of any use to anyone? The cloud is based on the titles from the 175 novels published in the crime series “The investigations of Commissaire San-Antonio”. Does is tell us something we did not know about San-Antonio ? And if we don’t know who San-Antonio is, or haven’t read his books does it help us forming a first impression? Does it allow us to find a way through his work? But maybe what we are being told here is not so much something about San-Antonio, but about distant reading. How do you go about with the material which raw (or refined) data gives you? How do you start building a narrative, and research questions around it? Continue reading
Another Lithuanian cover of a book by San-Antonio has just resurfaced, thanks to the efforts of the generous Didier Poiret. The reference of the translation had been known by collectors for a few years, thanks to Philippe Aurousseau. But this seems to be the first sighting of the actual book outside from Lithuania. The translation is from 1997. The text translated (San-Antonio chez les Mac) dates from 1961. Continue reading
With thanks to Didier Poiret
In preparation for the San-Antonio International conference due to take place in Queen’s University, Belfast on the 15th-16th of May and which aims to look at, amongst other things, the international career of Frédéric Dard, aka San-Antonio, often considered France’s most quintessentially French writer (whatever that might mean), can you recognise the original books by Dard, under their Japanese covers ?
San-Antonio is a positive, all-action hero. His novels, a literature of affirmation. And of exclamations. Not of doubts, it would seem. On the face of it, the textual reality might be a bit more complex. And a machine, reading the San-Antonio novels, might challenge some of the beliefs and impressions human readers might form, on their basis of their impressionable reading. There are more questions than exclamations, for one. Of course, the mystery genre entails consubstantially a fair amount of questions. The narrative tension thrives on hypotheses, conjectures, interrogations and all type of questionings. The opposition between two crime fiction subgenres, between, on the one hand, a “hardboiled”, violent, action literature and on the other, a literature of mystery and detection, is not as clear-cut in this respect. Both subgenres are riddled with questions. Maybe, these questions are more existential, or metaphysical in the “hardboiled”, noir genre, and of more logical, speculative or even academic nature in the Mystery genre. But this empirical observation, might still need to be addressed and backed up in a more scientific manner. Continue reading
Initiated by the publisher Bastei Verlag ( Gustav H. Lübbe ), in Bergisch -Gladbach, an attempt was made to publish the San-Antonio series in Germany. The “Kommissar from Paris” was even given his own series, like in France, where it had only in he early 1970’s started to be the case (after more than 20 years of being part of the “Spécial-Police” Series). The translation of the books into German started in 1973 . Twenty-two titles were thus published until 1975. As the picture above shows, San-Antonio was marketed as a sort of Gallic James Bond. A French double of Sean Connery. Continue reading
“Il faut beaucoup de talent pour faire rire avec des mots. Mais il faut du génie pour amuser avec des points de suspension… “.
Réglez lui son compte (1949): 171 Continue reading