Goodis

Settings for a crime scene

      KIng Dell

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Rufus King, Holiday Homicide (Dell 22)

Dell books paperback comprised different populargenres, from the Western to the adventure and the sentimental novel.  But  half  or more  of them were crime fiction. The maps on their backs merges visually all these genres. After all, the four of them can, to an extent, rely diegetically, figuratively or at least metaphorically on sketches and raw drawings (Treasure island map, carte du tendre, maps of a crime scene or croquis for a heist). More than 250 Dell Books Mapbacks  were actually Crime scenes.  Crime Scenes without crime, without traces of violence, and almost always without people. A pure material and geographical world.  Put all together, they display a great sense of continuity,  attributable to the unity of style and colours in the work of artist Ruth Belew (who, according to Gary Lovisi, drew more than  150 of them). The wild, unruly, imaginary space of Crime Fiction looks here tamed, domesticated. Pleasant, harmonious, and perfectly defined squares look like the parts of a puzzle. A puzzle reassuring both in its nature as a game, and for its apparent completeness (although it would be interesting to inspect the spaces, states, counties and countries which are not represented). Continue reading

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Black Label :The Selection of an International Canon of Noir Fiction in Spain (Etiqueta Negra)

 

Himes

 

The Etiqueta Negra (Black Label ) Series, published by  Editorial Jucar  (Gijón) from  1986 to 1995 comprises  140 outstanding noir novels (including the odd collection of short stories, such as  Hammett’s Cuentos). They are from, mainly, America, France and Spain.  By then of course, the canonisation process  has happened elsewhere long ago (in France, in Gallimard’s Série Noire, mostly, and in Hollywood, obviously).  Or  it is already well underway: the noir genre’s winners in the international competition for literary survival are very well known.  McCoy, Goodis, Himes, Thompson, Manchette, and Westlake, amongst others. But  more recent authors, such as Ellroy, and rising stars in particular from France (Daeninckx, Jonquet, Pennac and Vilar) and Spain are integrated within the collection, and benefit the most from such a symbolic canonisation.

Negras

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Gijonpg Continue reading