Australian Journal of French Studies

Writing Up Close and From a Distance: French and North-American Representations of Belleville (Paris) in Contemporary Roman Noir

Australian Journal of French Studies (2016), 53, (1-2), 79–93.

Abstract

The Parisian quartier of Belleville is considered the ideal setting for roman noir. Post-1968 French néo-polar writers proffer a critical view of contemporary French society with its social inequality, racism, corporate and political corruption, unemployment and its consequences. This paper presents a transatlantic view of contemporary Belleville seen through the eyes of French author and journalist Serge Quadruppani, Canadian artist and author Blaise Giuliani, and American crime fiction writer Cara Black. How do these representations of Belleville differ from one side of the Atlantic to the other? From where do these differences stem? What is the relationship between fact and fiction in each of these portrayals? Does the authors’ readership affect the way Belleville is depicted? In attempting to answer these questions, this article contributes to discussions about place and setting in the roman noir/néo-polar, contemporary Belleville, and its reputation in and outside of France.

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Author details

Stott, Carolyn