Archives par mot-clé : récit policier / crime fiction

Ressources: Fonds de Yellowbacks à l'Emory University

Fonds de Yellowbacks à l’Emory University

L’Emory University offre en téléchargement libre un fonds de 1200 yellowbacks, ces romans populaires britanniques publiés à partir de 1850, où furent publiés les principaux auteurs de sensation novels.

A glimpse of 19th century British life is available online, courtesy of Emory University Libraries’ Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

More than 1,200 novels known as yellowbacks have been digitized using a cutting-edge robotic digital book scanner purchased from Kirtas Technologies by Emory Libraries in 2008. The Kirtas machine enables the Libraries to scan thousands of rare and out-of-copyright books in its research collections.

Yellowbacks were cheap, 19th century British literature sold at railway book stalls, with colorful, sensational covers to attract buyers. While some were well-known books such as “Sense and Sensibility,” many of the yellowbacks were obscure titles by authors unknown nowadays. “They were the equivalent of a popular novel you’d read on a plane today,” says David Faulds, MARBL’s rare book librarian.

The digitization project allows MARBL to make the collection of rare, fragile books accessible to a widespread audience. “There are a good number of yellowbacks where we have the only known copy of the text, so we’re able to make that available to people around the world,” he says. “They’re very rare now because they weren’t that sturdily built – they just disintegrated or were thrown away. It’s an aspect of 19th century life that’s disappeared today.”

The project has taken about six months and is almost finished, says Kyle Fenton, leader of digitization services and digital curation, whose team worked to digitize the collection of yellowbacks. Of the 1,235 books digitized, nearly all of the titles are available online and can be downloaded by readers for free.

MARBL has the second largest collection of yellowbacks at an American university library, behind UCLA. The nickname comes from the yellow glazed paper of the illustrated covers.

The genres and topics include romance, detective fiction, war, biography, medicine, horse racing, hunting and fishing. “Some of these books are so rare that they’ve been lost to history,” Faulds says. “Scholars and casual readers can now discover these works. There may be aspects of them that are of interest not only to literary researchers but also social historians looking at Britain or America in the 19th century or women’s lives in this period – what they were reading, how they are portrayed or what they wrote.”

States of Crime: prolongation de l’appel

States of Crime: The State in Crime Fiction

Fourth Interdisciplinary Conference of the Atlantic Alliance of Universities (NUI Galway, UL, UCC, QUB) Crime Genre Research Group

17th-18th of June 2011, Queen’s University, Belfast.

Call for papers/ Appel à contribution


Keynote Speaker: Professor Dominique Kalifa, Université Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne

Guest Writers: Eoin McNamee, David Peace

This conference examines crime fiction through the various manifestations of its relations to the State. State institutions are unlike other protagonists in criminal affairs, due to their monopoly of legitimate violence and have hitherto received comparatively little attention in literary criticism. Yet, shadows of the state apparatus loom large over crime fiction, both within the narration and as a referential background. The emergence of the detective novel mirrors historically the advent of the modern police state. It reflects the creation of an organised network of surveillance and control. Poe’s ‘The Purloined Letter’

conceals a State affair. The genre has often been shown to display securitarian tendencies. The detective, either himself an agent of the State or a “private eye” objectively fulfilling the role of an auxiliary of justice, classically pursues not only the punishment of deviant individuals, but the restoration of order. At the same time, distinctions between exponents of State order and criminals have been blurred since the origins and the figure of Vidocq. In a similar fashion to Hugo’s couple Valjean/Javert and Dostoievsky’s Raskolnikov/ Porfiri Petrovitch, crime readers’ sympathies have often veered towards the criminal rather than the State. Evolutions within the genre, in the wake of WWI, the Russian revolution and the American Great Depression, have introduced a more explicit critique of State corruption, and of the surrender of public bodies to private interests, lobbies, and organised crime. Post WWII, the “Noir” has accrued its counter cultural credentials with a critique of State oppression, cultural domination, silencing of minorities, and racial and sexist discrimination.

Much contemporary crime fiction continues to buttress the authority of the State but at the same time an increased political radicalisation of the genre has developed worldwide in the context of decolonisation and the Vietnam War.

Marxist, Anarchist and Post-Situationist crime fiction authors have explored the genre’s subversive potential, while experiencing its constraints and contradictions. As crime fiction’s geo-politics reach has expanded, the generic boundaries separating crime, thriller and espionage fiction have been called into question, along with the State’s ability to control its territorial borders and the distinction between domestic and international securitization.

One of the aims of this conference is to compare different international approaches to the State in Crime Fiction within their various historical, national and political contexts. To what extent do different state traditions (i.e. Scandinavia, Italy, the US, the German Democratic Republic) find an echo in crime literature and films produced in their respective area? To what extent do these different state traditions produce distinctive crime fictions? What are the various purposes served in representing the State, and how much do they differ in a federal State, a decentralised State, or a popular democracy? In a one-party state, a Republic and a constitutional monarchy ? Do cultural transfers in the genre reflect such differences? How far is crime fiction – a genre that has developed in consort with the consolidation of the modern State – able to challenge political domination, debunk the ideologies of public discourses, uncover State secrets and revisit official history?

We invite papers in English which discuss, from a range of disciplines all aspects of such questions or deal with some of the following points (the list is by no means exhaustive), in any given literature and country, or in international comparison:

*  Crime fiction and Democracy

*  State culture and literary traditions

*  The State and civil society: neutral umpire or capitalist vehicle?

*  Public vs private: the State as gendered domain?

*  Racism and antiracism

*  Securing the city: race, ethnicity, class and the police

*  Police procedurals and the police

*  State crimes and State affairs

*  State responsibility in war crimes, crimes against Humanity, and Genocide

*  Antiterrorism and State terror/coercion

*  Decolonization and postcolonial crime fiction

*  Hobbes, Marx, Weber, Foucault, and Deleuze… Influence of theory on crime fiction.

*  The Politicization of crime fiction

*  Progressivism and Revolution

*  Anarchism, leftism and reactionary politics

*  Marxist and Situationist crime fiction: a contradiction ?

*  The Noir as “committed” literature : roman noir and engagement

*  Public utilities and general interest

*  The shrinking State: privatisation and the end of the welfare State

*  Dismantlement of the social state and the rise of corporate interests

*  Crime Fiction in the age of advanced financial capitalism

*  Private security agencies and non-elected public authorities

*  Infra-State entities and regional crime fiction

* “Public Choice Theories”, “New Public Management” and “new” forms of governance

*  The Europeanization of the police. Europol, trans-border police cooperation and crime fiction

*  Globalisation and the State.

*  The detective novel in popular democracies

N. B. Papers should be no more than twenty minutes in length.

Conference organisers: Dr. Dominique Jeannerod, French Studies, QUB, and Dr.

Andrew Pepper, English Studies, QUB.

Please send 300-word abstracts of papers to by 28th february 2011

A publication of proceedings from the conference is planned.

Colloque « San-Antonio et la culture française », Les Actes

San-Antonio, l’auteur français le plus lu du XXe siècle, a vu son œuvre passer de l’état de bien culturel de grande consommation à celui d’une sorte de trésor national, monument littéraire et linguistique entretenu par une foule de thuriféraires. Plébiscité par les lecteurs, il a aussi retenu l’attention de l’université, séduit la critique et captivé les médias. Soixante ans après sa création et dix ans après la mort de l’auteur, la série de ses aventures continue et les rééditions se succèdent.

La place de San-Antonio dans la culture française continue de faire débat. Au delà de son statut de phénomène d’édition, la mesure de son importance dans l’histoire culturelle de l’après guerre jusqu’à nos jours reste à prendre. En 1965, le premier colloque qui lui fut consacré, dirigé par R. Escarpit, l’abordait du point de vue d’une sociologie de la lecture, et en tant que représentant de la «culture de masse». Quarante-cinq ans plus tard, le colloque international qui s’est tenu à la Sorbonne du 18 au 20 mars 2010 envisage son œuvre dans ses multiples rapports à la culture française, tant populaire que lettrée.
Cet ouvrage rassemble les communications présentées dans ce cadre. Il montre à la fois comment San-Antonio est devenu un héros (contre-) culturel en France et une exception française à l’étranger, et comment la série se nourrit de références intertextuelles et parodiques, de Rabelais à Alphonse Allais, des anciens manuels de savoir-vivre à la littérature pornographique. Il donne ainsi une perspective dynamique sur ses origines et sur le contexte culturel dans lequel elle s’inscrit et sur lequel elle a à son tour influé, tout en rappelant à quels titres San-Antonio, Bérurier et les autres peuvent se targuer d’un caractère «épiquement français».