RARA-AVIS: French HB/Noir

From: Etienne Borgers ( wbac1203@wanadoo.be)
Date: 13 Aug 2002

To answer Terril's inquiry I put together a list of French authors of importance for HB/Noir lit in France. Some are unquestionable, either for historical reasons or by the confirmed high quality of their production. Others are very interesting, by their works that are above the average production or because they really influenced an important number of authors. All in the list are post-WW2 authors. Subdivisions of the list (cap sizes) follow rather closely the timeline of the evolution of the French HB/Noir lit. (The "borderline" class is not part of the timeline as such)

Some French expressions:
"Polar": French colloquial for "policier" which was already a shortening of
"roman policier" (literally: police novel - equivalent to mystery novel) and of "film policier". The word covered the whole spectrum of "mysteries".

Polar noir: specific to the HB/noir novel

"N鯭Polar": term coined to name novels of HB/noir inspiration that appeared during the 70's, and were characterized by violence, sex, open social criticism, some political activism, nihilist tendencies, derision, trivialization of crime, exacerbated real problems of the daily life, some literary research for form and style, quick writing... a.s.o.- of course all were not found in each and every novel. Had the valuable merit to rejuvenate the genre, with some influence on the next generation of writers, even if we can count a lot of "misses" in the production of these days (70's and early 80's).


L鯠Malet - Jean Amila - Albert Simonin


Jos頇iovanni - Auguste Lebreton - Pierre Lesou
- Fr餩ric Dard


Jean-Patrick Manchette - ADG

"NEO-POLAR" AND SOME IMPORTANT INNOVATORS Jean Vautrin - Pierre Siniac - Alex Varou - Frederic H. Fajardie - Francis Ryck - Delacorta

PRESENT DAYS / MODERN AUTHORS OF INTEREST Daniel Pennac - Marc Villard Tito Topin - G鲡rd Delteil Jean-Bernard Pouy - Didier Daeninckx - Maurice G. Dantec Thierry Jonquet - Pascale Fonteneau Jean-Claude Izzo

BORDERLINE OF THE GENRE, but typical of some French orientations- mainly black humor and/or surrealism San-Antonio (pseudonym of Fr餩ric Dard) - Georges Bardawill- Fran篩s Barcelo - Nadine Monfils - Alix de Saint-Andr頊

I hope this will give some clues about HB/noir authors in France. As already underlined, very few works of these authors were translated in English.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries http://www.geocites.com/Athens/6384

Polar Noir http://www.geocities.com/polarnoir

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