Parution : “French Crime Fiction and the Palimpsest”

 Rewriting Wrongs: French Crime Fiction and the Palimpsest  (Angela Kimyongür et Amy Wigelsworth, éd.), septembre 2014



Rewriting Wrongs: French Crime Fiction and the Palimpsest furthers scholarly research into French crime fiction and, within that broad context, examines the nature, functions and specificity of the palimpsest. Because the practice of rewriting is so central to popular fiction as a whole, crime fiction is replete with hypertextual transformations. The palimpsest also has tremendous extra-diegetic resonance, in that crime fiction frequently involves the rewriting of criminal or historical events and scandals. This collection of essays therefore exemplifies and interrogates the various manifestations and implications of the palimpsest in French crime fiction.

Originally a palaeographic phenomenon, the palimpsest has evolved into a figurative notion used to define any cultural artefact which has been reused but still bears traces of its earlier form. In her 2007 study The Palimpsest, Sarah Dillon refers to “the persistent fascination with palimpsests in the popular imagination, embodying as they do the mystery of the secret, the miracle of resurrection and the thrill of detective discovery”. In the context of crime fiction, the palimpsest is a particularly fertile metaphor.

“Because the palimpsest, by its very nature, contains within itself erased or hidden traces of an earlier form, it proves to be a particularly suitable theoretical tool with which to investigate crime fiction as a genre. Through this apt metaphor, this rich collection of essays offers an illuminating exploration of 20th- and 21st-century French crime fiction. Ranging from classics of the genre by Leblanc, Simenon, Malet and Daeninckx to an array of texts by Perec, Nothomb, Calle, Férey, Simsolo and Laurens, this thought-provoking and carefully edited volume provides fascinating insights into the sometimes dizzying games of mirrors and textual echoes that French crime fiction, au sens large, indulges in. It is divided into three theoretically underpinned parts which explore, in a coherent and structured fashion, the various practices and ever expanding boundaries of crime fiction. Rewriting Wrongs will undoubtedly be of great interest to scholars and students of crime fiction and critical theory alike.”

—Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Durham University

An extract of the book can be downloaded from the publisher’s website




David Platten


Introduction, Angela Kimyongür and Amy Wigelsworth

Part I: Rewriting the Past

Claire Gorrara : Figuring Memory as Palimpsest: Rereading Cultural Memories of Jewish Persecution in French Crime Fiction about the Second World War

Sophie Watt : « Un passé qui ne passe pas »… un mystère sans cesse redécouvert

Emma Bielecki : Arsène Lupin: Rewriting History

Christine Calvet : Du récit à l’envers au récit de l’envers: The Imprint of the Palimpsest in Simenon

Part II: Textual Rewriting

Alistair Rolls : Paris as Rewrite: Getting Away With It in Léo Malet’s XVe arrondissement

Andrew Watts : An Overwritten Mystery: Balzac, Television and Une ténébreuse affaire

Adrienne Angelo, Enigmas, Erasures and Enquêtes: Camille Laurens and the Palimpsest

Part III: Imitation, Parody, Metafiction

Ellen Carter, Taking Background Research Too Far? Caryl Férey’s Cross-Cultural Borrowings

Elise Hugueny-Léger, Filatures de soi: Detectives, Disappearances and Deceit in the Crime Autofictions of Calle, Laurens and Nothomb

Simon Kemp, The Many-Layered Palimpsest: Metafiction, Genre Fiction and Georges Perec’s “53 jours”

Amy Wigelsworth, Finishings Off: Murder à la Malet in Simsolo’s Les Derniers mystères de Paris


OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Anne Besson (13 octobre 2014). Parution : “French Crime Fiction and the Palimpsest” LPCM. Consulté le 15 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

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