Fatale (HUM415)

Next week we’ll be discussing Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Fatale, a nasty little neo-polar that presents us with a murderous female protagonist who may be “a cold-hearted grifter or the soul of modern capitalism.” Manchette is often quoted as describing crime fiction as the “great moral literature of our time” and in this sense perhaps his art can be said to operate according to the principle of anamorphosis invoked by Zizek in the clip we watched on Thursday. If his true purpose is to critique capitalist culture, he undertakes this project by engaging with the popular (and often conservative) genre of the crime novel. More to the point Manchette, a “post-68er,” draws from the arsenal of Situationist techniques, detournement in particular. Fatale, then, as a “situationist noir”, is an act of subversion. Reading it with this in mind will be illuminating.

Finally, remember to THINK about

1) the differences between disciplinary society and the society of control (Deleuze) and

2) pastiche and schizophrenia as cultural symptoms of “consumer capitalism” (Jameson).