A Family Affair
As we have seen, Nicolas Freeling’s Van der Valk series uses a police detective’s investigations to conduct a sophisticated literary interrogation of the ideological constraints of the three major sub-genres of detective fiction; his Castang series constitutes a more pointedly social inquiry in which Freeling explores more fully the nature of policing as it is distributed throughout French society. Unlike Van der Valk, Henri Castang is thoroughly integrated into the police judiciaire; because he is less the independent operative within the state structure than his predecessor, Castang’s cases establish the official domain of the traditional control mechanisms of the State as the starting point for an examination of the broader modes of collective social discipline.
KeywordsPrivate Life French Society Police Work Family Affair Ancien Regime
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