Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143104841, 295pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2007
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Pierre Souvestre (1 June 1874 - 26 February 1914) was a French lawyer, journalist, writer and organizer of motor races. He is mostly remembered today for his co-creation with Marcel Allain of the fictional arch-villain and master criminal Fantomas. He was born in Plomelin, a commune in Finistere, Brittany. In 1909, already a well-known figure in literary circles, Souvestre collaborated with his assistant Allain on their first novel, Le Rour. Investigating Magistrate Germain Fuselier, later to become a recurring character in the Fantomas series, appears in the novel. Then, in February 1911, Allain and Souvestre embarked upon the Fantomas book series at the request of publisher Artheme Fayard, who wanted to create a new monthly pulp magazine. The success was immediate and lasting. Souvestre died of a congestion of the lungs. After his death, Allain continued the Fantomas saga alone.
Pulitzer Prize winning poet John Ashbery has translated many French writers, including Alfred Jarry, Pierre Reverdy, and Raymond Roussel. In 2011 he was awarded the National Book Foundation s Lifetime Achievement Award.
[Fantomas is] like going on a roller coaster: you know what to expect but you scream, with fear and pleasure, anyway. . . . They dont writeem like that anymore. (Michael Dirda)
Fantomas is still scary (The Washington Post Book World)