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Mostly French

French (in) Detective Fiction


Alistair Rolls

This book, which was inspired by a conference on plural conjugations of Frenchness ( La France au pluriel) held in 2007 at the Universities of Technology, Sydney and Newcastle, focuses on the concept of national belonging as it pertains to detective fiction, with particular emphasis on French and Australian detective fictions and the encounter and crossing over between them. The objective is not only to use the concepts of ‘French’ and ‘Australian’ detective fiction productively, via the analysis of French and Australian detective-fiction novels, but also to challenge and undermine the very notion of national detective fictions, which are so often assumed to be transparently meaningful. The contributors to this volume focus variously on the following areas: comparative analysis of the genesis of French and Australian detective fiction; translation of Australian (and other) novels into French; translation as a genre; Frenchness as a stereotype, its role in individual novels and its spectre in all detective fiction; and readings of individual French and Australian detective novels. Overall, this book aims to challenge assumptions about French detective fiction, its influence on other national fictions and its explicit and implicit presence in all detective fiction.
Contents: Alistair Rolls: An Uncertain Space: (Dis-)Locating the Frenchness of French and Australian Detective Fiction – Toni Johnson-Woods: Crime Fiction’s Cultural Field: Carter Brown in France – Sue Ryan-Fazilleau: Murder in Montparnasse and Kerry Greenwood’s French Connection – John Ramsland/Marie Ramsland: Re-assessing Arthur W. Upfield’s Napoleon Bonaparte Detective Fiction – John West-Sooby: Lost - and Found - in Translation: The Frenchification of Australian Crime – Jean Fornasiero: Wakefield Queens of Crime Go to Paris: The Publishing Adventures of Patricia Carlon and Charlotte Jay – Françoise Grauby: ‘In the noir’: The Blind Detective in Brigitte Aubert’s La mort des bois – Alistair Rolls: Reading and Writing the Primal Crime Scene: Fred Vargas’s Dans les bois éternels.