A series of comprehensive and thoughtful posts on the Ile Noire blog
traces the history of crime novels
in France from post-1968 "neo polar" back through antecedents and predecessors in France, England, the United States, Europe and the ancient world: "Between France and the United States, there is a cultural difference that appears in the crime novel. Where American authors have no political message, our French authors are much more politicized, including in the noir novel all it can contain of the social."
Such histories are common, but this one is more thorough and more pointed than most. The most recent post
may be the most interesting, offering, among others, a gold mine of French authors perhaps unfamiliar to many readers. The section includes the author Didier Daeninckx's intriguing definition of the crime novel as "a type of novel whose object is situated before the first page."
The histories include short biographies of notable authors and publication histories. All are worth reading.© Peter Rozovsky 2006
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