RARA-AVIS: Boris Vian noir novels and early publishing

From: E. Borgers (webeurop@yahoo.fr)
Date: 21 Sep 2009

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    In POLAR NOIR, I recently published an article and comments about a French publishing house, Les Editions du Scorpion, that was founded in 1946 and had its first immediate success with a noir novel  written by Boris Vian under his Vernon Sullivan pseudo, pretending it was a translation of an American novel: “J’irai cracher sur vos tombes” (I shall Spit on Your Graves). They published  4 Vernon Sullivan’s novels in total (more or less in the same vein) + an oddity: “I shall spit on your graves”, the English version of the French text (which was supposed to be a translation of the original American novel !), two “real Vian, originals: “L’Automne à Pékin”-Autumn in Peking- and “Les Fourmis” a short stories collection).

    But they published also Raymond Queneau under a pseudonym, some of the first French crime noir novels, as well as translations of Cain, Chase, O’ Farrell and others.

    It was a
    “popular” kind of production, full of borderline sleazy novels but also French elitist novels, scandal orientated fictions about homosexuality and prostitution. And more.

    All of the Avians interested by French noir novels and French lit, should have a look at the dedicated page in POLAR NOIR (it’s in French, but some of the list members can read French, as we know of) the list of publications with comments on the most intriguing or famous ones.


    The article and comments are at:







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