Final series and Pseudonyms


The Feux Rouges Series, Ferenczi,  1958-1960

Last in the long string of crime fiction series launched one after the other, over the course of several decades by publisher Ferenczi, “Feux rouges” did not make a lasting impression.  The 54 titles in the series are now all forgotten. The list of authors published there might nowadays seem rather uninspiring. Apart from the occasional book by Marcel Allain (who had created Fantômas, 45 years earlier, before the 1st War, together with Pierre Souvestre) or by Jacques Chabannes (who had won the prestigious Grand Prix du roman d’Aventures -the Award for the best adventure novel, in 1957 for L’Assassin est en retard, Librairie des Champs Élysées, Le Masque, 1957), most of the names are now forgotten. This is partly because most of them are French, with no international author of great standing lifting the profile of the series.  But this is mainly because many of these names are only pseudonyms of better known authors.  In fact, under some of the pseudonyms, one finds great crime authors.   There are for example six books by  a young Georges-Jean Arnaud, concealed by the pseudonym Georges Murey.  An equally young Roger Faller, later a household name in the Spécial-Police Series (Fleuve Noir) is here Roger Henri Nova. And a Gallimard Série Noire author, Ange Bastiani,  aka Victor Marie Lepage, is credited in the Feux Rouges Series as Vorlier.

The books announce on their covers which subdivision in the crime genre they belong to : Suspense, Policier, or  Espionnage. Or indeed Noir,  an indication that at this stage, in the 1950’s, the adjective is now widely  accepted as a distinctive generic category.


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

Out of the Slaughterhouse of Literature

One of the original aims of the current AHRC project on Crime Fiction Viz is to show books which are difficult to locate, or have been long forgotten ; to make the unread reappear ; to allow to see books, which had become virtually invisible. Such are the following novels,  original best-sellers but whose international career was hampered by a set of adverse circumstances. Many of them have been ignored,  lost, binned or destroyed. In some cases, there are probably only  few surviving copies spread across the world, and most  had been hidden for decades in obscure, opaque and remote,  private or public collections.


 San-Antonio, Moi, vous me connaissez? Kourier, Nijny Novgorod, 1992

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Networks, diffusion, acculturation – The birth of mass culture in Europe, Debrecen, 11-13 December 2014

This conference is co-organised in partnership between the Universities of Queen’s Belfast, Limoges and Debrecen and with the  support of the AHRC, as part of the grant : Visualising European Crime Fiction.

Programme of the Conference Continue reading

Mapping Engagement and its significance in 21st Century French Crime Fiction


Dominique Jeannerod presented at the University of Hull  Conference  21st Century Engagements – Countering Crises (17 & 18 September, 2014) a  paper advocating  the use of quantitative methods to assess political contents in Crime Fiction.  Based on a corpus of 4000 crime novels reviewed in the BILIPO’s  yearbook Les Crimes de l’année it uses digital tools and instruments of spatial visualisation to  offer a new picture, relativising assumptions regarding the committed nature of French Crime  Fiction.  Comparing  quantitative methods  based on new  digital tools with  more traditional, textual and contextual, literary, historical  and socio-literary approaches, the paper argued for the use of  digital innovations to evaluate and give a representative account of the various types of political engagements happening around or embedded within Crime Fiction