Re: RARA-AVIS: Leo Malet

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 04 Aug 2003

At 18:49 01-08-03 -0400, you wrote:
> As far as that goes,
>except for the occasional cultural reference, I didn't see much evidence
>of Malet's surrealist background in his book either.


As I said in my previous message, you will find references to surrealism in Malet's Burma series, but that's practically always in a allusive manner, like you found out with Jarry's street (names, local events, small items etc... generally not of importance for the story). And it's not in every book, and not many of these references in one book.

You will also find from time to time short references to the Anarchist movements, much in a same way. Except in "Brouillard au pont de Tolbiac"
(literally: Fog on the Tolbiac Bridge- one of his best novels) wherein part of the plot deals with anarchist circles.

In his series "The New Mysteries of Paris" (15 volumes) each book is a Burma investigation taking mainly place in one of the Paris' Arrondissements (=districts). In these novels Malet often explain briefly
-through Burma's voice- some typical events of the past which took place in the district. His choice for these events, or curios, are never done without intentions... And there also you find references to Anarchism, artistic movements..etc.

Malet can be colloquial in his Burmas, but rarely uses pure slang, except maybe for some expressions taken from the lingo of the Parisian "street smarts" of his time.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

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