Friday, November 10, 2006

L'histoire du polar marseillais / crime fiction from Marseilles

I've posted here, here and here about Total Chaos, the first novel in Jean-Claude Izzo's Marseilles trilogy. Two recent discoveries, plus the arrival of my copy of Chourmo, the second volume, brought me back to that atmospheric tale, at once downbeat and full of Izzo's love for Marseilles.

The Ile noire blog explores, in French, the early history of Marseillais crime fiction. That's a concept that we readers of international crime fiction ought to like. Ile noire is a bilingual site, mostly French with a bit of Corsican. I learned that bonavinuta means welcome and a dopu means later! or until the next time. The obvious similarities between the Corsican words and their Italian counterparts (other Corsican words are more like French) is a rich little lesson in language and history – and I owe it all to international crime fiction.

An Italian site reviews a collection of tales and other writing by Izzo that bears the delicious title of Aglio, menta e basilico – Marsiglia, il noir e il Mediterraneo (Garlic, mint and basil – Marseilles, noir and the Mediterranean). The sensual appeal of that title is beguiling, as are the reviewer's descriptions of how Izzo's detective protagonist Fabio Montale –"a Mediterranean man" – loves jazz, hip-hop, eating, drinking, gossiping for hours in bars ... What a life!

Izzo, reviewer Andrea Fannini concludes, is "a French, indeed, a Mediterranean poet."

© Peter Rozovsky 2006

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your article about "île noire". Congratulations for your blog. Sorry but j do'nt write english and american.
friendly
A dopu
Jean-Paul

my other blog: http://blog.ifrance.com/flicorse

November 10, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Merci de votre reponse. Apropos Ile noire, j'ecrivais que j'ai trouve tres interessantes les ressemblances entre le corse e l'italien. De plus, j'ai dit que la demarche historique de votre blogue serait interessante aussi pour mes lecteurs.

A dopu!

November 10, 2006  
Anonymous andrea said...

Thank you for your post on your site. It nake me happy. Jean-Claude Izzo is one of my favourite author, expecially for the atmosphere of his books and the vitality of his characters. Truffaut could write that they are "real persons that prove real sensations". Your blog is beautiful and professional, and grafically nice. Excuse me for my english...not very correct.

November 13, 2006  
Anonymous andrea said...

...it "make"...

November 13, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Andrea: Thank you for your kind comments. I have just received my copy of Chourmo in the mail, and I hope to write about it soon.

Spero anche di trovare Aglio mente e basilico in traduzione inglese oppure in francese. E grazie di tuoi complimenti!

November 13, 2006  
Anonymous andrea said...

Chourmo è fantastico!

November 14, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Sono in attesa di leggerlo, forse prossimamente sulla mia grande lista dei libri! Saro forse in sciopero dicembre -- molto tempo da leggere.

November 14, 2006  

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