Re: RARA-AVIS: Jean-Patrick Manchette

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 09 Jul 2004


The translation is correct; in that excerpt Manchette wrote indeed
"l'homme" (the man) in the original French version (1981). The citation are the last sentences of chapter 19 of the French text. It's long ago that I reread this top novel and I cannot remember if this was extensively used all over this novel. To note that as a stylist Manchette was on the minimalist side, but with sentences adjusted to the last millimeter (make it 1/25 th of an inch) in texts that he reworked extensively and drastically. But the result is stunning and very personal, under this apparent simplicity. As I already said in the past here, he is one of the greatest French noir writers.

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries POLAR NOIR

William Denton :

>I just finished Jean-Patrick Manchette's LA POSITION DU TIREUR COUCHE
>(1983), but in the English translation, THE PRONE GUNMAN (2002). Damn!
>That is fine, fine stuff.
>Here's a quote from THE PRONE GUNMAN from the archives that shows
>something unusual in the style:
>| Seated in the darkness of the 504, Martin Terrier listened attentively
>| to this news. His haggard face at first registered great perplexity;
>| then it registered worry, thoughtfulness, or whatever other movements of
>| consciousness that might cause his face to look the way it did. Once the
>| news was over, the man started the engine.
>Notice "the man" instead of "he." It happens all through the book. In
>the original, is it "l'homme" and not "il"? I wish my French was good
>enough that I could read it that way. C'est un tres bon livre, et
>j'acheterai l'autre bientot.

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