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The Emergence of French Crime Fiction during the Nineteenth Century The. Journal of, Publishing, Introduction, It seems complex to assert who was the father of crime fiction and even to identify in which. country the genre had emerged for the first time However we know that the earliest record. of crime fiction was situated in China around the year 700 with the adventures and. investigation of the Judge Dee a magistrate and statesman of the Tang court But we have. to wait until the 19th century to notice the emergence of a new genre with proper rules and. structures A new genre which did not appear from nowhere for it was indeed part of long. gestation and even during the Romantic Movement we already had some traces of crime. fiction themes For example in Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens novels some themes such. as unpunished crime criminal and avenger figures or miscarriage of justice presage the new. genre Crime fiction appeared in the middle of the 19th century in three different countries. Edgar Allan Poe was a precursor in the United States around 1840 with The Murders in the. Rue Morgue 1841 Then Emile Gaboriau was the first in France in the year 1860 to. embrace the medium At the same period in England Wilkie Collins also wrote detective. stories and crime fiction He was followed in the years 1880 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with. A study in Scarlet introducing the famous Sherlock Holmes and his partner in crime Doctor. Watson There were indubitably two poles in France and Anglo Saxons countries both were. in constant evolution and inspired by each other over the years During the Second Empire. in France emerged a trend for subgenres and diversification in literature which was aimed. for a specific audience exotic adventures novels for men with Gustave Aimard s novels. children fiction novels with La Comtesse de S gur and even the emergence of science fiction. novels with Jules Verne It seems that crime fiction occupied an intermediary level between. proper literature and popular fiction and therefore the genre was read by a cultivated. audience as an entertainment but also by a more popular readership with newspaper s. serials In this essay we will focus on the French pole by trying to understand different. aspects that have enabled crime fiction to emerge in the 19th century. The Journal of Publishing Culture Vol 4 May 2015 2. The Emergence of French Crime Fiction during the Nineteenth Century The. Journal of, Publishing, Crime feuilleton in Popular Newspapers. Crime fiction in France emerged under Napoleon III s Second Empire who was highly. criticized at the time A lot of intellectuals were hostile to Napoleon III s repressive system. such as Victor Hugo or Emile Zola It was a time of repression specifically for the press. Indeed during the Second Empire authority censored newspapers especially articles and. columns dealing with political issues To fill this editorial gap some newspapers such as Le. Petit Journal began to cover criminal matters Le Petit Journal created in 1863 was one of. the first popular daily newspapers with a wide distribution This popular press also called. canard1 was sold at a really cheap price on public roads to attract a popular audience which. usually did not read daily press Le Petit Journal was specialized in crime themes which. attracted numerous readers fascinated by grim and atrocious anecdotes In 1869 the. Troppmann case is one of the most representative affairs which have been written about. extensively in newspapers Indeed in 1869 eight corpses have been found mutilated in Paris. Porte de Pantin newspaper headlines were extremely evocative and provocative as this. headline from Le Petit Journal, Un crime pouvantable Un homme de 60 ans coup en morceaux Bouilli dans une. marmite et jet en p ture au porc D tails horribles. A dreadful crime A 60 year old man has been cut up into pieces Boiled in a cooking. pot and thrown to pigs Horrible details, Moise Millaud Le Petit Journal s owner and editorial director understood quickly that this. new fascination for crime was a windfall for his newspaper Crime and judicial novels. tribunal chroniques and anecdotes were at the heart of Le Petit Journal To reinforce this. editorial policy and increase his readership Moise Millaud hired Emile Gaboriau to write. criminal serial fiction each day following tradition of the feuilleton Therefore Emile. Gaboriau is considered to be the first French crime fiction novelist notably with his. Monsieur Lecoq serial novel which dramatized police investigation Gaboriau became the. newspaper s head author and represented a new category of journalist he was both. Newspapers specialized in anecdotes accompanied by illustration It was dedicated to a popular audience. The Journal of Publishing Culture Vol 4 May 2015 3. The Emergence of French Crime Fiction during the Nineteenth Century The. Journal of, Publishing, novelist and reporter He also considered that with his crime serial and especially with.
detective Monsieur Lecoq s investigation he brought at least 60 000 new readers over the. 300 000 copies distributed at the time Moise Millaud confirmed in a letter to Gaboriau with. a touch of cynicism the importance of the novelist de Lavergne Elsa 2009 La naissance. du roman policier fran ais du Second Empire la Premi re Guerre mondiale. Mon cher Emile continuez Votre syst me s adapte merveille aux exigences de la b tise. humaine Il y a en France 500 000 lecteurs qui vous gobent tous les jours. My dear Emile please carry on Your novel s system is wonderfully adapted to the. human stupidity exigency There are in France more than 500 000 readers who swallow. your story every day, A fascination for Super Criminals. Therefore newspapers were in France the medium in which crime fiction had made its first. entry This emergence also coincided with a society which became more and more. fascinated by what we can call the super criminals Toward a repressive state people and. especially the working class began to be fascinated by villains misdemeanours such as. Vidocq s adventures Eug ne Fran ois Vidocq was a brigand he was in jail several times and. each time he managed to escape thanks to his capacity to dress up2 Later he knew an. extraordinary conversion in becoming one of the first investigators in the Sur t new police. force He also wrote his memoirs dealing with his criminal days and his lurid adventures. These memoirs quickly became a best seller in France capturing the contemporary. imagination and reinforcing the status of heroic outlaw which was an index of popular. discontent with the regime Such characters as Vidocq or Anthelme Collet another famous. thief famously known to be able to change his identity and to dress up to commit a crime. were almost legends in the country Therefore a lot of writers use those popular characters. and their stories as material for crime fiction For example Henry Cauvain s Maximilien. Heller novel was highly inspired from Vidocq s life notably in the capacity of the main. character to change his appearance in order to foil criminals There was in nineteenth. He escaped from Brest s penitentiary dressed up as a sailor in 1798. The Journal of Publishing Culture Vol 4 May 2015 4. The Emergence of French Crime Fiction during the Nineteenth Century The. Journal of, Publishing, century France s a real fascination for eminent criminals seen as modern adventurers and. respected for their audacity and provocation Therefore famous criminals entered into the. public psyche through newspapers and crime novelists played on those portraits to enrich. their stories and to satisfy their audience, The Emergence of the Detective Figure. The emergence of crime fiction also corresponded with the birth of a new police force the. Suret 3 which broke away from Emperor s political police force With a society which. became more industrialized and hence more urban police needed to adapt especially in big. city such as Paris The Suret was created to investigate on committed crimes and also in. prevention of it The problem remain that among society police forces stayed discredited. due to the fact that a lot of policemen in service were reformed criminals and convicts It. was not until the middle of the 19th century and the emergence of detective s profession. that people began to have a better perception of police work Once again crime fiction. played an important role for instance crime novelists such as Emile Gaboriau use figures of. Suret s detectives in their novels Detectives such as Monsieur Lecoq s character were. spotlighted in crime novels becoming main characters whereas they were only secondary. character in novels hitherto Emile Gaboriau was known to have a great respect to those. new field men which had the reputation to practise thankless tasks with a capacity of great. observation and thought His character of detective Lecoq was strongly influenced by those. Suret new detectives In the Gaboriau s novel detective Lecoq is a young man without. financial resources coming from an aristocratic but ruined family Just after he had arrived. in Paris to study both his parents die letting him without means and after several. unqualified jobs he was recruited by the French Suret and became a zealous and. professional detective Thanks to Emile Gaboriau crime fiction readers began to have a. better image of policemen and he contributed to give those detectives a status of hero. Therefore it is interesting to sense that if crime novelists were inspired by transformation. within police institution their novels and serials had also an influence among society. French criminal investigation department directed by Vidocq from 1809 to 1827. The Journal of Publishing Culture Vol 4 May 2015 5. The Emergence of French Crime Fiction during the Nineteenth Century The. Journal of, Publishing, perception At the end of the nineteenth century appeared new methods of investigation. and terms of scientific and technic police unit emerge For example a morgue was set up. in Paris in 1864 to proceed with crime victims medical autopsy This place became a place. of curiosity for a lot of Parisians at the time corpses being displayed on marble slabs for. family to identify Once again crime novel will escort those changes to jibe properly with. reality For example when detectives started to use photo cameras to immortalize a crime. scene some authors such as Eug ne Chavette in his novel Pourquoi add an illustration. which represents a map of the scene crime, Crime Fiction new rules and structures.
During a long time crime fiction remained disparate without a proper structure it was. therefore complicated to definite the genre With its installation among the literary scene. and in particular in newspapers as serial fiction from years 1860 in France crime fiction. began to be understood has a specific genre in literature In renewing some schemes it also. became independent from other literature s subgenres In fact crime fiction formed itself in. opposition to regular serial fiction and reversed some schemes Crime fiction s structure was. highly influenced by Edgar Allan Poe s short stories such as The Murders in the Rue Morgue. in 1841 then The Mystery of Marie Roget in 1842 and The Purloined Letter in 1844 He was. the first to reverse the plot with Poe plots started from something known a crime and. clues left behind by criminals to something unknown who committed the felony and what. is his motive This new structure allowed writers to break up the tale to gradually give. clues keeping readers in suspense Lot of French crime novel writers were inspired by Poe s. works thanks to translation and particularly the one by Charles Baudelaire in 1856. References to the American writer were frequent for example Jules Lermina s Histoire. Incroyables who was clearly inspired by Poe s collection of short stories Extraordinary. Stories in the title but also in the stories plot, The Journal of Publishing Culture Vol 4 May 2015 6. The Emergence of French Crime Fiction during the Nineteenth Century The. Journal of, Publishing, A Capacity of Entertainment. What is more is that in its youth history crime fiction was shaped in adequacy to social. changes which had an influence over narrative structure Indeed the period matched with. the emergence of a consumer and leisure society which concerned in the first place a. cultivated bourgeoisie which read crime fiction as an entertainment Crime fiction writers. understood that in order to attract an audience they had to entertain and this is why the. plot had to be without any breaks Moreover the writers tried to include the reader in the. story so that he too can play the detective and participate to the crime resolution it was a. kind of puzzle game playing on the do it by yourself aspect Readers had to be active in. their reading they had to fill holes with the right pieces in a way readers are detective. confidants and they followed clues and detective s logic These aspects were emphasized by. the fact that most of the time crime novels were quite short with on average no more than. 200 pages In this way readers were able to read a story in one evening or during a train. travel Indeed crime fiction worked perfectly in harmony with this new way of travelling. Like a train the story had to move forward and fluently while readers were in a kind of. cocoon which stimulated their reading We also find this. new fascination for crime was a windfall for his newspaper Crime and judicial novels tribunal chroniques and anecdotes were at the heart of Le Petit Journal To reinforce this editorial policy and increase his readership Moise Millaud hired Emile Gaboriau to write criminal serial fiction each day following tradition of the feuilleton

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