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Publication - Professor Martin Hurcombe

    Untold Crimes

    The First World War and the Historical Crime Fiction of Jean Amila and Didier Daeninckx

    Citation

    Hurcombe, MJ, 2015, ‘Untold Crimes: The First World War and the Historical Crime Fiction of Jean Amila and Didier Daeninckx’. Modern and Contemporary France, vol 23., pp. 1-15

    Abstract

    This article considers how Jean Amila's Le Boucher des Hurlus (1982) and Didier Daeninckx's Le Der des ders
    (1984) expose hidden crimes committed by figures of French military
    authority during the First World War; how they reject the myth of a
    France united by combat embodied in the heroic and steadfast poilu; and
    how they complicate and pluralise memories of the war through the
    existence of a counter-memory and a counter-myth founded upon the figure
    of the mutin de guerre. It illustrates how the French historical
    crime novel resolves the tension between the historian, concerned
    primarily with collective ideas and responsibility, and the judge,
    seeking to ascertain the extent of individual guilt, thereby
    constituting an intermediary, marrying the ethical, the factual and the
    political. It concludes, however, by exploring the limits of memory,
    narrative and collective political identity proposed in both works, but
    also considers the readership of such crime fiction as a contemporary
    counter-community.

    Full details in the University publications repository