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Andrea Camilleri, 1925-2019

commissario-montalbano

 

Andrea Camilleri has died today, in Rome, aged 93.  True internationalist and international crime fiction icon, world-famous for his charismatic detective, Sicilian Commissario  Salvo Montalbano,  but also known for his outspoken political consciousness, Camilleri is one of the most influential authors of crime fiction in Europe. Acknowledging inspirations such as Simenon, Sciascia and, of course, Montalbán, and with his own novels widely translated and adapted across the continent and beyond, he has come to represent the quintessential European Author. Here are a few obituaries from different European countries paying  homage to his international legacy,  selected from the great many published this morning all over the world.

https://www.repubblica.it/robinson/2019/07/16/news/andrea_camilleri_morto-231343655/?ref=RHPPTP-BH-I231368817-C12-P1-S1.12-T1

https://elpais.com/cultura/2019/07/17/actualidad/1563347589_267750.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/disparitions/article/2019/07/17/l-ecrivain-andrea-camilleri-pere-du-polar-italien-est-mort_5490273_3382.html

https://www.dn.pt/cultura/interior/morreu-o-escritor-italiano-andrea-camilleri-11120233.html

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jul/17/andrea-camilleri-obituary-inspector-montalbano

https://www.spiegel.de/kultur/literatur/andrea-camilleri-italienischer-schriftsteller-stirbt-mit-93-jahren-a-1277687.html

https://stirescu.ro/actualitate/a-murit-scriitoruil-italian-andrea-camilleri-9907.html

 

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Caribbean Noir (2) – CFP

Confiant Pepin

The  Centre Aixois d’Etudes Romanes (Aix-Marseille University) calls for papers for its 2nd conference on  Caribbean Crime Fiction in Spanish, French and English.  The conference will take place on May 28 & 29, 2020, in  Aix-en-Provence.

All submissions must be received by 30 September 2019.

Learn more, including how to submit your paper here , or contact the organisers :

Nelly Rajaonarivelo : nelly.rajaonarivelo@univ-amu.fr

Dante Barrientos Tecún : dante.barrientos-tecun@univ-amu.fr

To see the full call (and some impressive art), click here

 

 

Violet Hill

 

violet hill

 

Belfast-born author Henrietta McKervey will be reading at the Delicate Infractions Conference this week end.  Her  third novel, Violet Hill, was published by Hachette Ireland in 2018.

Here is a taster:

 December 1918: Post-War London is grieving, the city a wound whose dressing was taken off too soon. Violet Hill, the only female private detective in the city, is hired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s business manager to uncover spiritual trickery he believes is deceiving his employer.

January 2018: Susanna is a super-recogniser, one of an elite Met Police team of officers with extraordinary powers for facial recognition. When a freak injury causes her unusual ability to suddenly disappear, a dangerous criminal whom she no longer recognises decides to close in.

More information on the conference can be found here

The programme is available here : 

 

The Mysteries of Bucharest

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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)[1]

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 

[1]  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

 

 

 

 

Crime Fiction, Comics and the Daily Press

Berceuse

 

Today see’s the long-awaited publication  of Henry Blanc’s  1973 comic strips adaptation of Berceuse pour Bérurier,  the 1960 San-Antonio novel.  Originally published in the French daily newspaper France Soir,  whose circulation was, back then, well over one million copies a day (1 300 000, in 1963) Henry Blanc’s  strips appear now, some 46 years later,  for the first time as a volume, in a limited edition, restricted to 160 copies (numbered by hand from 1 to 160), thanks to a non-business entity “Les Amis de San-Antonio”.  This collector’s item has been carefully and admirably curated by Thierry Gautier, Didier Poiret and Jean-François Pribile,  founding and long-serving members of said entity, dedicated to furthering the knowledge of San-Antonio’s work.

The comparison of figures and places suggests a widening gap between a publishing industry of which San-Antonio was once, around the middle of the past century a stalwart, a dependable source of massive income, but which has now moved on, and the world of  erudite and nostalgic readers, with their necessary and irreplaceable contribution. Once a big business, and by all accounts a hard-nosed one at that,   San-Antonio has now become mostly a labor of love. While  San-Antonio’s literature, which found in mass-market circulation its raison d’être, always depended on its readers for its very existence, it now seems that San-Antonio’s survival from oblivion, and the question of his legacy hinges more than ever on the dedication of readers taking over their free time (or devoting their retirement) to locate and browse through increasingly fragile archives to bridge gaps in knowledge, piecing together traces left in media long discarded and retracing a history based on material artifacts now almost forgotten, or  whose last remains, like in this case, are archived in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Indeed, Gautier, Poiret and Pribile’s edition, with its detailed, erudite and rewarding introduction and the wealth of original documents it reproduces in its appendices,  goes much beyond a tribute to the adaption of San-Antonio as  comics, or to Blanc’s skills as an illustrator, or Robert Mallard ‘s (author of the texts under the strips) as a storyteller. It captures a moment of French cultural history, re-inscribing San-Antonio within a history of the successive forms and media it borrowed to reach its millions of readers over an entire era. As such, this edition continues to illustrate the productivity of the “cultural turn” advocated a decade ago (Jeannerod, San-Antonio et son double, PUF, 2010 ; Rullier, Gautier, Jeannerod & Lagorgette, San-Antonio et la culture française, PUS, 2010). Shifting away from the sole preserves of linguisitics and literary  studies, cultural studies approaches help apprehending the multi-faceted and transmedia dimension of San-Antonio production, and articulating them with existing social conditions, representations, ideologies and industrial structures.

San-Antonio might nowadays appear as a relic from a past increasingly inscrutable and difficult to comprehend. Gautier, Poiret and Pribile’s tireless work in finding, selecting, reproducing and contextualising the strips (Berceuse pour Bérurier, the story published today, is merely one of twenty novels which served as a basis for the strips, published continuously between September 10, 1963 and March 12,  1975, amounting to a respectable  total of 3536) sheds light into a moment of press and popular publishing industry which, at that stage was hard for anyone living in France to ignore, but which has  slipped off almost everybody’s radar since.

From the narrower point of view of San-Antonio’s commercial success, it is easy to point out the coincidence between the start of the France Soir publication in 1963  and the recognition of the “San-Antonio phenomenon” in the following years. His 1964 book L’Histoire de France vue par San-Antonio was a best seller with 350 000 copies  sold that year and became  his  first to sell over a million copies;  in 1965 Robert Escarpit  dedicated his seminar in the University of Bordeaux to the first Conference on San-Antonio. The continuous numbering of the 3536 strips re-frames the adventures of San-Antonio and gives a new dimension to their serial nature, merging the series of novels in an uninterrupted duration, emphasizing a sense of timelessness.  It is now possible, based on Gautier, Poiret and Pribile’s precise research of concordances  between the novels and the strips ( pp. 13-14) to establish the following correspondence between the novels (implicitly) adapted and the strips published in France Soir  under a solely generic title  (as “Les Enquêtes du commissaire San-Antonio” and then (from 1970, after strip 2210)  “Les Enquêtes de San Antonio” ). Only the last three novels  in the list below were adapted under their  title:

France Soir 1963/1964                         Du sirop pour les guêpes, Fleuve Noir, 1960

France Soir   1964                                Du brut pour les brutes, Fleuve Noir, 1960

France Soir   1964/1965                       Entre la vie et la morgue, Fleuve Noir, 1959

France Soir   1964/1965                       De « A » jusqu’à « Z », Fleuve Noir, 1961

France Soir   1965/1966                       Bérurier au sérail, Fleuve Noir, 1964

France Soir   1966                                Des gueules d’enterrement, Fleuve Noir, 1957

France Soir   1966/1967                       San-Antonio Polka, Fleuve Noir, 1962

France Soir   1967                                Messieurs les Hommes, Fleuve Noir, 1955

France Soir 1967/1968                       On t’enverra du monde, Fleuve Noir, 1959

France Soir  1968                               Du mouron à se faire,  Fleuve Noir, 1955

France Soir  1968/1969                     Tout le plaisir est pour moi, Fleuve Noir, 1959

France Soir 1969/1970                       Le loup habillé en grand-mère, Fleuve Noir, 1962

France Soir  1970                               Descendez-le à la prochaine, Fleuve Noir, 1953

France Soir 1970/ 1971                       Fais gaffe à tes os,  Fleuve Noir, 1956

France Soir 1971/ 1972                        Viva Bertaga, Fleuve Noir, 1968

France Soir 1972/ 1973                        En long, en large et en travers, Fleuve Noir, 1958

France Soir 1973                                  Emballage cadeau, Fleuve Noir, 1972

France Soir 1973                                  Berceuse pour Bérurier, Fleuve Noir, 1960

France Soir 1973/1974                         Ça ne s’invente pas, Fleuve Noir, 1973

France Soir  1974/1975                       Sérénade pour une souris défunte,  Fleuve Noir, 1954

 

Petitmarcel

 

Henry Blanc, San-Antonio, Berceuse pour Bérurier,  Édition établie et présentée
par Thierry Gautier, Jean-François Pribile et Didier Poiret, Gardanne, Les Amis de San-Antonio, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belfast-Munich-Dublin: An Interview with Ellen Dunne

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Interview with Ellen Dunne

Ellen Dunne. Wie Du PNG

 

 

[Dominique Jeannerod] What made you decide to set your first novel (Wie Du mir, 2011) in Belfast ?

[Ellen Dunne] I became interested in the Northern Irish Conflict aged 17, when I watched the movie “In the Name of the Father” by Jim Sheridan, in early 1994. The story of the Guildford Four upset me so much, I wanted to understand the real background. So I endlessly read articles and books and watched TV documentaries. I always have been writing, and after a while, a story formed in my head, and intuitively I chose Belfast as location.

How would you introduce your protagonist, Patsy Logan? Why does she work in Munich ?

Patsy Logan is Irish-German, lives in Munich but has an Irish father with whom she spent many summers in Dublin. Her stories are set in Munich and also in Dublin. Why? I have been living in Dublin for 13 years and lived in Munich for a year, and to me, the two cities have almost nothing in common, apart their size. Munich is a very affluent, balanced, well-groomed and orderly city, with often grumpy inhabitants. To me, Dublin is much rougher, with a lot more social differences (and thus problems) and a somewhat chaotic setup. A contrast that mirrors Patsys inner conflict and intrigued me.

How would you describe the genre of Crime Fiction to which your novels belong? And do you see an evolution between the first and the most recent ones?

 I always was more interested in characters and their motifs than in plot twists. I guess it is fair to say that my stories are mixtures between crime and contemporary literature.

 

Who are the top ten main International Crime Fiction writers in your personal Pantheon?

I read mainly British/Irish as well as German speaking crime writers, so here goes, without a particular ranking: English speaking: Tana French, Adrian McKinty, Kate Atkinson, Stuart Neville, Dennis Lehane, Eoin McNamee German speaking: Simone Buchholz, Friedrich Ani, Oliver Bottini, Jan Costin Wagner            

How did you discover Irish Crime Fiction?

Initially, through my interest in the Northern Irish conflict.  

Who are the Irish Crime authors who might have influenced you?

I hope I developed my own voice by now, but I guess it’s hard to not be influenced by writers you enjoy. For example, I adore Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series and also Tana French’s novels, but also like Stuart Neville’s thrillers. Also enjoyed Eoin McNamees Resurrection Man and The Ultras a lot. As I do read a lot of non-crime fiction, it is a short (but growing) list, sorry.

Had you heard of them before settling in Dublin?

 Eoin McNamee, yes – all the rest I only found out about while living here.

 Have you contacts with other writers of Irish Crime Fiction?

Much less than I would want to; mainly due to the fact that I write in German.

What is Irish Crime Fiction all about, according to you? And Northern Irish Noir, as you arguably write both?

 I haven’t read enough of Irish Crime fiction to comprehensively comment on this. Coming from abroad, to me there is this two-faced quality to Ireland, with so many friendly and easy-going people, which makes its social problems and organised crime underbelly all the more jarring – and a good source for stories. There a lots of stories about the crisis and its fallout still. And for Northern Ireland especially the conflict, which writers only in recent years start to really explore. I am excited to see that it gets more attention internationally, too.

Could you tell us a bit about Eire Verlag? Is there a market for Irish Crime Fiction abroad?

Eire Verlag is a very small German press; the publisher has a personal interest in Ireland and we got in touch over private connections.
In general, there is definitely a market for Irish Crime fiction in the German speaking market. Many writers are translated into German, there is a big interest in Ireland as a country.

Do you go to Crime Festivals and meet many authors?

I do attend literary and crime writing festivals regularly. It is a great way to get in touch with authors and network. It is important to network among writers, it’s a lonely job.

Did you write Cigarette Break – A Short Belfast Story directly in English?

There was a German version first, so the English version was between a rewrite and a translation. I did it all myself, with an Irish proofreader to check.

What made you decide to set this story in Belfast (again)? And did you feel the need for a prequel to your first novel?

As it is not a real prequel but a short story that gives background to my first novel, Belfast had to be the logical location. I wrote the story as part of a World Book Day promotion.

To what extent was the timeline important? Will there be other Belfast or Troubles novels?

 There is nothing planned yet, but who knows? I have never stopped being interested in the topic, and the recent tragic events around Lyra McKee’s murder show that the Troubles still effect the whole island.

How much reading/documentation does it take you to write novels set during the Troubles?

 I’d say a lot, it is a complex set-up. It’s hard to tell for me though, as I first got interested in the topic and the story developed naturally out of it. So I guess I did much more “research” than necessary.

 Who are you readers? Where do you meet them? Do you interact with them online? Do they comment on your stories?

My readers are usually people that read a lot and are ready for “something different”; often not the typical crime readers. I meet them often online in book groups or at book fairs, or they write to me after reading the book and tell me how they liked it. Mostly these interactions are great, I enjoy them.

What are the languages in which your books are translated?

I have one of them translated in English, “The Lost Son”

lost son 37635327

 

What are the four Crime Fiction novels you recommend to your friends?

Available in English:

The Sean Duffy series by Adrian McKinty
The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French
The Chastity Riley series by Simone Buchholz
Light in a dark house by Jan Costin Wagner

 

Is there any question you would have liked me to ask? Sorry for not mentioning it…. Please do now…

This was a very comprehensive interview, it was fun. Thank you!

 

Thank you, and looking forward to your next book! To be followed

Noir & Journalism (CFP)

No pockets

 

Call for papers

 Noir & Journalism

University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour

University Savoie Mont-Blanc,  Chambéry,

October 1st to 4th, 2019

An international conference, investigating the multiple  relationships, influences and representations linking crime narratives with journalism will take place in France, in October 2019 (1st to 4th), in presence of authors Dominique Manotti and Leonardo Padura. The conference venues are located on two campuses : in Chambéry, on October the 1st  and 2nd and in Pau, on October the 3rd  and 4th .

The full programme of the conference (In French) can be accessed here.

Please send 300 word abstracts by the 4th of May  2019 

to the Organizers of the conference:

– Emilie Guyard (University of Pau)

emilie.guyard@univ-pau.fr

Myriam Roche (Savoie Mont Blanc University)

myriam.roche@univ-smb.fr

Journalism Conference

 

 

Europeanness in Contemporary Crime Fiction

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“Unified in Diversity?”

The Promotion and Reception of Europeanness in Contemporary Crime Fiction

Call for abstracts

While there is clearly still some way to a European media market that knows no borders––there is certainly not yet a single European market, and there are still a great many frontiers and boundaries to negotiate––, one must acknowledge that crime narratives travel extremely well in Europe, be it in the form of literary fiction, film or television series. From the perspective of cultural studies, this harbours the potential for transnational exchange, transculturalism, and the emergence of a shared European identity, thus serving as a vehicle for cultural exchange and debate.
On the other hand, one might argue that crime shows which do stress their Europeanness by means of location marketing and inviting cultural tourism are fundamentally Europuddings by appropriating a well proven storytelling formula and setting these narratives to European locations, which are exotic and appealing to most of the audience worldwide. In that sense, one might question whether the generic concept of Noir, which has certainly travelled from the very North to the very South of Europe, enables a European dialogue or jumps from the regional/local to the global and thereby skipping notions of Europeanness.
The aim of this proposed panel is to examine whether, and how, crime narratives are advertised as European in promotional material such as trailers, covers, posters, copywriting, ads and the like. At the same time, we invite case studies which do not only focus on the promotional strategies but also focus on reception by looking at newspapers, magazines, websites, social media, and so on. This panel will therefore explore how Europeanness has been conveyed through promotional strategies, and will discuss which factors have proven relevant for this Europeanness to be detected by critics and audiences.

We invite case studies in literary fiction, film and television series. For example, we are looking for analyses of cross-media phenomena such as Inspector Montalbano, the Millenium trilogy, or Babylon Berlin, which originated from literary works and became transnationally successful television series. Such cases would be especially interesting since the market logic for audiences in literary and screen reception is still markedly different. We are also particularly interested in case studies about television series such as The Team, Crossing Lines, or Eurocops, whose presumed Europeanness is already embedded in their production process.

Please send your abstract until April 10th 2019 to both federico.pagello@unibo.it and M.Schleich@qub.ac.uk
This panel will be part of the conference “EURONOIR: Producers, distributors and audiences of European crime narratives“ held from the 30th September to October 2nd 2019 at the Aalborg University in Denmark.

Emergence of the Detective Novel in North Africa and the Middle East

By

I. De Miguel, PhD candidate, City University of New York

 

morituri

 

Even though classical Arabic proto-detective fiction written in the 13th century [1] preexisted the appearance of the modern detective novel (usually attributed to Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Murders in the Rue Morgue in 1841), detective novels located in North African and Middle Eastern countries need to be contextualized. Since society and criminality are central to crime fiction, regional and cultural particularities must be taken into account when reading North African and Middle Eastern detective novels.

 

Within this context, Silvia Tellenbach’s interesting article “Law, Crime, and Society in the Middle East” provides a comprehensive analysis of the cultural and sociological background that needs to be considered. In an interview to the magazine Horizons in 1987, the writer Rachid Boudjedra (1941-) explained the late emergence of the detective novel in Algerian literature, attributing its cause to Algeria’s mainly rural development and to “the lack of a criminal tradition[2]”:

There isn’t at all a tradition of crime in Algeria. Algeria’s society is a rural one. Urban areas barely started to develop fifteen years ago. In rural societies, there’s crime among peasants, but there’s almost never an investigation, because this sort of crime is always covered. Or then, it’s a crime that takes place in broad daylight as a vengeance or some sort of vendetta. The silence of the village decides of the lawfulness of such an act. Algeria’s war of Liberation brought some changes to this situation. As a matter of fact, the first crime novels located in Algeria are strongly rooted in that event.

As Silvia Tellenbach 2016’s research shows, Boudjedra’s claim not only proved to be correct, but it is also applicable to other North African and Middle Eastern countries. In fact, Tellenbach’s article brings to the fore the often-disregarded connection between specific characteristics of North African and Middle Eastern cultures, and their literatures, and the nature of criminality in these countries.

Tellenbach’s interesting analysis confirms a lack of tradition of homicides in Arab societies. While “all over the world, we can observe that criminal behavior is much more frequent among men, especially young men”, Tellenbach observes that even though the population of “most Middle Eastern countries is very young” (33) this does not translate into a higher crime rate as compared to Western societies. According to Tellenbach, Head of the Section “Turkey, Iran and Arab States” at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, several factors contribute to crime prevention: social control by families, social control in the public sphere (for example, in the neighborhood), and control of the population by the police and the secret services. Tellenbach also contemplates the difference between rural and urban settings where clannish or tribal systems of mediation or restorative justice may apply without the intervention of the police.

In light of the statistics provided by international organizations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s homicide statistics, Tellenbach concludes that the most common crimes are thefts and bodily injuries and that homicide rates are very low. When murders take place, the crime usually happens within the victim’s family or within the victim’s close environment. These crimes are often honor killings and, more often than not, the perpetrators confess their own crime. On this particular point, one might certainly want to challenge Tellenbach’s opinion that “such crimes are not of very much interest in criminal novels” (37). While the perpetrator’s confession might take away much of the interest in a whodunnit, such criminality is certainly within the “noir” tradition and could be explored in novels or films.

Furthermore, Tellenbach points out other forms of crime that Middle Eastern societies have had to confront in the last decades. Along with the fight against terrorism, crimes such as corruption, nepotism and misappropriation, both at low and high levels of society, appear as the background of crime novels exposing political or social conditions (Yasmina Khadra’s Dead Man’s Share and Rafik Schami’s The Dark Side of Love) Tellenbach also notes an increased awareness about organized crime by national and transnational groups trafficking with humans, money or drugs. Still, such a dangerous topic has been less dealt with in criminal fiction.

Concerning criminal investigations and prosecutions, and to a certain extent, the figure of the detective, Tellenbach underlines that “most Middle Eastern states adopted criminal laws and laws on criminal procedure are influenced by the French law” (39). Thus, a warrant is most often needed to search a suspect’s domicile. Secret services and the “police politique” along with the existence of secret prisons also alter the criminal landscape and fiction of Middle Eastern countries. Feared by the population, secret and political police might not have offered the best image so as to give birth to a popular hero.

To conclude, I would add that censorship, first, and exile later on (as in the case of Yasmina Khadra (1955-) or Abdelkader Djemaï (1948-)) also needs to be taken into account when examining the emergence and evolution of crime novels written in Arabic or French in North African and Middle Eastern countries. Self-censorship, for instance, might have contributed to limit the production of detective novels to a form of entertainment, often recurring to settings in foreign countries, like Al Sid’s Machettes, coconuts et grigris à Conakry (Tunis: Alyssa Éditions, 2000) written under a pseudonym. As Anne Griffon observes in her study of popular literature in Algeria “Romans noirs et romans roses dans l’Algérie d’après 1989” (Master’s Thesis) written under the supervision of Guy Dugas, the exile of Algerian writers after Algeria’s civil war in the nineties modified France’s and Algeria’s editorial landscapes: As the Algerian publishing houses had to face the war, the influx of Algerian authors increased largely the number of Algerian novels published in France.

References

Boudjedra, Rachid. Interview by Rédha Belhadjoudja. “Le polar? Je connais!” Horizons, 9 November 1987, I-IV.

Burton, Richard F. trans., The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885-1888) (Burton Club Edition, reprinted U.S.A., n.d.)

Griffon, Anne. Romans noirs et romans roses dans l’Algérie d’après 1989, Master’s thesis (mémoire de DEA), Paris : Université Paris IV- Sorbonne, 2000. Web (http://www.limag.refer.org/Theses/GriffonDEA.PDF)

Malti-Douglas, Fedwa. “The Classical Arabic Detective” Arabica 35.1 (1988), 59-91.

Tellenbach, Silvia, “Law. “Crime, and Society in the Middle East” Crime Fiction in and around the Eastern Mediterranean. Ed. Sagaster, B., Strohmeier, M., Guth, S. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016, 33-44.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): “Homicide Statistics”.

[1] In “The Classical Arabic Detective” Fedwa Malti-Douglas analyzes the figure of the detective as it appears in a specific type of Arabic medieval prose texts called adab, and used to educate and entertain. Some of these literary anecdotes emphasized the extreme sagacity of the figure of a caliph or a judge able to figure out enigmatic situations by the mere use of ratiocination. In contrast with Western detective narratives focused on solving a mystery, they would also include punishments for the culprits and the rendering of justice. Malti-Douglas examines three anecdotes, giving them the names of “The Case of the Painted Hand” (59), “The Case of the Excited Slave” (65), and “The Case of the Merry Slave” (66). She also mentions the “Tale of the Three Apples” from The Thousand and One Nights (74). “The Case of the Painted Hand” and “The Case of the Excited Slave” appear in Akhbadr al-Adhkiya’ (Stories of the Adhkiya’) of Ibn al-Jawz (d. 597/1200).  “The Case of the Merry Slave” appears in Al-Nuwayri, Nihayat al-Arab fi Funun al-Adab (Cairo: al-Mu’assasa al-Amma lil-Ta’llf wal-Tarjama wal-Tibaca wal-Nashr, n.d.), v. III, p. 150. n.d.

[2] « Il n’y a pas du tout de tradition du crime chez nous. La société algérienne est une société rurale. Cela fait à peine 15 ans qu’elle commence à s’urbaniser. Dans cette société rurale, le crime paysan existe, mais il n’y a presque jamais d’enquête, car ce crime-là est toujours camouflé. Ou alors, c’est un crime en plein jour consécutif à une vengeance, à une sorte de vendetta. Le silence du village légifère sur la justesse d’un tel acte. C’est la guerre de Libération qui a apporté quelques changements à cette situation. D’ailleurs, les premiers polars chez nous sont fortement ancrés dans cet événement »

Arabic Crime Narratives

Arabic Crime Narratives

 

A two-day conference organized in Paris at the Inalco  and the Institut du Monde Arabe on March 28th and 29th will discuss Arabic crime narratives, their distinctive features and their conditions of existence and reception in the Arabic world.  While a number of Literary works from the classical period represent thieves and criminals, and deal with criminal cases, crime fiction as a recognized genre is relatively recent in Arabic literature. The logico-deductive inquiry, as well as the judicial inquiry are mostly absent. The emergence and critical appraisal of Arabic Noir only really started in the past decades. International scholars from various disciplines will approach Arabic crime fiction and highlight its diversity and potential.

 

Full program (in French) here: