Re: RARA-AVIS: French/Italian names for pulp

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 24 Aug 2004

Never heard any words including "jaune" to qualify a genre of mystery lit. in France! In Italy, yes : it became a generic word for mystery lit (refer to Luca's explanation). Now, the vocabulary naming genres in popular lit. in any country is always fuzzy and evolving along the years, even if some epressions stays long. In French we speak of "litt鲡ture polici貥" (police lit) and "roman policier" (police novel). The latest name was transformed during the 70s into "polar" a colloquial word forged at the time. A noir novel belonging to mystery lit will be qualified now as "polar noir" in French.

On the other hand, an example of another fuzzy term is a word that introduced recently a lot of confusion in English: pulp(s). Originally they were magazines of all genres. In which you could find some mystery writers and even the ancestors and founders of the modern HB/noir American lit. Even if we could speak of "pulp writers" or "pulp fiction" as a reference to the golden age of these magazines, to qualify later writers
(40s onwards) of the same tradition, their publications were no more
"pulps" as such... they were paperbacks and PBO. But others on this list could probably give you a wider and better analysis of the meaning and evolution of the word "pulp".



>On 8/22/04 22:12, "William Denton" <> wrote:
>>I'm passing on another question from Toni Johnson-Woods, the Australian
>>academic. Drop her a quick note if you know the answer.
>>| From: Dr Toni Margaret JOHNSON-WOODS <>
>>| Could you please ask the pundits who know all --I've read somewhere that
>>| une jaune (French) and un giallo (Italian) are shorthand for "pulp
>>| fiction" ie mass produced fiction of the 1940s, 1950s ie Carter Brown
>>| and ilk (not nec pulp magazine fiction)? Can anyone confirm? deny?
>>| Second, does anyone know if there are other names ie German, Spanish
>>| etc??? Probably private replies are best???
>>| Thanks so much.
>>| Dr Toni Johnson-Woods
>>| Contemporary Studies
>>| University of Queensland
>>| Australia.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Aug 2004 EDT