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French Golden Age

Page history last edited by Pietro De Palma 7 years, 11 months ago

French Golden Age

 

Originality of French Golden Age is one of approach.

 

Unlike their Anglo-Saxon fellows who regarded plot as the main thing, French authors had as much in interest in characterization, atmosphere and writing style. Attitude towards genre conventions was different too: no Van Dine being there to set rules, authors enjoyed a great freedom in treatment and subject matter, though fairplay remained a keyword.Finally, French GA was marked by a strong taste for spectacular problems, and of course the most spectacular of them: impossible crime. All major French and French-speaking authors of the time(including non-unlikely ones such as Georges Simenon) wrote at least one impossible crime story, several making it a personal specialty.

 

Some authors:

 

- Claude Aveline (1901-1992)

Best-known as a mainstream writer, he still managed to write five well-regarded mystery novels featuring Sûreté Inspector Frédéric Belot, starting with "La Double Mort de Frédéric Belot" (1932). Aveline is one of the very few French mystery writers of the time to have enjoyed English translations, and his books can be found on specialized sites like abebooks.com.

 

 

- Pierre Boileau (1906-1989)

One of the French masters of impossible crime, he fathered private investigator André Brunel who appears in his two most famous books, "Le Repos de Bacchus" (1938) et "Six Crimes sans Assassin"(1946). He later teamed with Thomas Narcejac to form the famous suspense tandem Boileau-Narcejac.

 

- Stanislas-André Steeman (1908-1970)

Though he was a Belgian, Steeman was unquestionably the most important and brilliant writer of the French Golden Age. A master-plotter and a relentless experimentator, he tried his hand not only to whodunit ("Six Hommes Morts", "L'Assassin habite au 21") but also thriller ("Le Lévrier Bleu"), hardboiled ("Douze Fantômes"),Simenon-like atmospheric novel ("La Maison des veilles") and suspense ("Une Veuve Dort Seule"). His detective was the urban and seductive Wenceslas Vorobeitchik, best-known as "Monsieur Wens". Many of his books were made into films, the most famous of which being Henri-Georges Clouzot's "L'Assassin Habite au 21" et "Quai des Orfèvres".

 

- Pierre Véry (1901-1960)

Another visitor from mainstream fiction, Véry brought whimsy and gentle surrealism in mystery, intending his books to be "fairy tales for adults". His most famous books are "Le Testament de Basil Crookes", "Les Disparus de Saint-Agil", "Le Meneur de Jeu", "L'Assassinat du Père Noël", and the locked-room mystery "Les Quatre Vipères".

 

- Noël Vindry (1896-1954)

A judge in civil life, Vindry can be regarded as the French John Dickson Carr, as he made locked rooms and impossible crimes his specialty and showed the same amazing technique as the Master. His detective, Judge Allou, intervenes in "La Fuite des Morts", "La Bête Hurlante", "Le Double Alibi", "La Maison Qui Tue", "Le Fantôme de Midi" and "A Travers les Murailles".

See also : http://deathcanread.blogspot.it/2014/08/noel-vindry-le-piege-aux-diamants-1933.html#comment-form 

 

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