San-Antonio International Conference Programme

Programme SA

The Programme of the San-Antonio Conference is now live. It can be accessed here.

The poster for the conference can be accessed here.

If you are not scheduled to speak at the conference but wish to attend, or for any information, please contact or, or please register following the registration form here :

A Literature of Exclamations


Noir Fiction is a literature of affects. It depicts passions, surprise, anguish, despair, and tragedy. Exclamation marks are a  way of expressing and highlighting these  feelings and tensions textually. Orders are shouted, threats are uttered, insults are exchanged. Cruel realisations are made, usually too late. Wrong turns were taken. Fortunes are lost. Lives come to an end.   Exclamation marks, in the San-Antonio novels, stress  the urgency of the plot and the impulsive, ill-tempered nature of the first person narrator. They suggest his lack of restraint. They mark his own accentuation, they force his own tempo. Like a music conductor, the author dictates the rhythm of his score. San-Antonio’s tendency to “over-ponctuate” is manifest.  Exclamation signs can be found both in the narration and in  the dialogues.  They  even find a way into the paratexts, in the titles, including the titles of chapters (Chapter XIII of Du mouron à se faire (1955) is ominously titled :” OH! OH!”). But how can machine- reading a text confirm and help refine this empiric observation made by the reader ? How many times, exactly, does San-Antonio use the exclamation mark in each of his novels ? Are there patterns, is there an evolution?  The following is the data that a computer, reading some novels by San-Antonio will find.  Continue reading

Friends of San-Antonio


To learn more on this not so secret (or even discreet) society, please click : If you want to join the association, please contact Daniel Sirach,, or Serge Amoré,

See, too the blog, by Sébastien Mousse :

San-Antonio is on Facebook :

San-Antonio’s continued International Adventures

A tue et à toi

(With thanks to Laurentiu Bala and Didier Poiret)

 The first recorded translation of a book by San-Antonio was apparently in the English language. The book translated was the 1953 novel Du Plomb dans les Tripes, and it was translated in English as early as January 1954, under the title A night in Boulogne, published by Harborough Publishing, without indication of the translator’s name. The same publisher published in the same month another book by the author of San-Antonio. This one, titled The Ardent lover,  was signed Frédéric Charles, another alias used by Frédéric Dard at the time. Again, the English translation played with entirely different connotations and generic horizons than the original French.  The French Title was Dernière mission.

Ardent lover

More than sixty years later, the industry of translating San-Antonio abroad is still dynamic. This is especially the case in Romania and Italy. In Italy, E/O Edizioni are currently republishing San-Antonio novels translated by Bruno Just Lazzari and originally published by  Mondadori;  to date, 13 books have been published there, since the summer of 2013.

bordel de cul

In Romania, the publisher Univers started around the same time, in 2013 to re-market San-Antonio novels in Romania.  Ten books have already been published since.

San-Antonio meets Mickey Spillane

Certaines l'aiment chauve

San-Antonio, Certaines  l’aiment chauve, Gart, A.O. Printest, Tallin, 1992

(Thanks to Didier Poiret)

Two of the most successful second generation hardboiled detectives, Mike Hammer and San-Antonio were invented respectively in 1947, by Mickey Spillane, and in 1949 by Frédéric Dard. Both authors were kings of the alluringly, garishly covered paperbacks  (Signet and Fleuve Noir) and both sold tens of millions of copies (with more than 230 Millions usually estimated for Spillane, and a probably wildly exaggerated 220 millions often quoted for San-Antonio). Continue reading

Movie Stars and Crime Fiction


Jean-Paul Belmondo on the cover of the Italian translation of Meurs pas, on a du monde !,

Milano, Mondadori, 1981

The intermedia nature of Crime Fiction facilitates its international circulation. Crime Books benefit from the aura of Crime Films. Publishers are understandably tempted to figuratively suggest such links between printed works and moving images. It is frequent to find references to cinema on book covers.  In the case of translated books, this reference to familiar icons helps to reduce the “strangeness”  of a foreign work, by  highlighting the quasi-universal nature of its narrative. Audiences are thus reassured that the particular object of a given translation is part of a global cultural form. The  iconic images of Movie Stars are a pragmatic and economical way to put the stamp of a dominant cultural industry on exogenous books.  Their perceived national particularism, which  might otherwise be seen as a deterrent for the mass market is thus watered down. The celebrity of the actors represented serves as an international currency. Continue reading

Bulgarian covers

La nurse anglaise

(La Nurse anglaise, Sofia, Colibri, 2009)

One of the objectives of the San-Antonio International Conference, and one of the motivations for organising it was to expand the search for documentation on the author beyond the limits of France ; to gather evidence on the international career of his books, to help complement existing bibliographies with new entries or supplements of information, to find new collectibles and to unearth rare archives.  Many thanks to Didier Poiret, who has recently discovered San-Antonio books from Eastern and Northern Europe. We plan on launching a virtual exhibition of San-Antonio international book covers, simultaneously with the conference.  Please continue sending us what you find. Continue reading

Where’s the action ?

Secondary Dendogram

 San-Antonio novels, like most thrillers, are usually described as “action-packed”. The action is often international. Moving swiftly between countries gives a sense of  international networks so opaque, of criminal plots so dense, of  ramifications so global that they can not be contained within the confines of  one country only. But the San-Antonio Series are generic hybrids. Depending on the epoch when they were written, and on their plot, they recycle elements of noir, spy novel or the  thriller. The intensity of travels during each adventure in the series can be linked with the genre each one owes predominantly to.   The classification of San-Antonio’s Series by country would not be complete  without a consideration of secondary places of action in each novel. These are represented here  in different ways, in the dendograms circle above and in the table below.  Check the following list for a classification by country

Colours Continue reading

Which San-Antonio books should you read (sorted by country) ?


San-Antonio, Bérurier au Sérail, Paris, Fleuve Noir, 1964

In a Series totalling 175 novels, it is understandably difficult to locate, or even to remember, in which country each adventure is set. Even if one discounts some 70 novels where the action is set in France, in many others the characters travel to several foreign countries, rather than just one. This adds to the variety of settings in San-Antonio’s adventures, but  it renders any orientation even more difficult.  To provide such an orientation, the following  list serves as a simplified database. It  links the countries most visited by San-Antonio with the  title of the books in which  each country is  visited. This might come handy especially if you are considering putting a proposal to the San-Antonio International Conference in Belfast in May…   Continue reading