Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Jean-Patrick Manchette (was: Leo Malet)

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 04 Aug 2003


When I read the reference to the influence of Guy Debord on Manchette, I thought his books might be Situationist "detournements" or "derives" of crime novels. Frankly, I'm glad they aren't (not to say they do not in some ways subvert genre expectations). I was afraid it might be like Steve Aylett or something, just a bit too precious in its deconstructive intent.

Your description of Manchette's style in French --

'Manchette's style is quite "behaviorist" and his novels are never padded with unnecessary text. I did'nt read the translations, so I cannot tell you how faithful to Manchette's style it was. Because there's a real style in his writing but it always stays efficient and

-- could certainly be used to describe the writing in the City Lights version, so maybe the translation is faithfull. Whoever's style it is, it's great, quite stripped and very effective.

I picked up Three to Kill (as far as I know, the only other Manchette in English) the day before yesterday. I may not read it next, but I will read it soon, certainly before going to see the Alain Delon film next month at AFI.


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