The french crime and science fiction novelist Maurice G. Dantec shares with Jean Baudrillard a profound Nietzschean inspiration and a postulation that the death of God has brought about a consequent murder of the real and the installation of twin illusions: that of an integral reality and that of personal freedom. Baudrillard's perfect crime becomes, for Dantec, the alibi for an absolute crime: the invisible and perfectly integrated acts of numerous serial killers operating with impunity. However, it is not so much individual acts such as murder that constitute evil, but rather the world itself in its contingent unfolding and its radical absence of meaning. It is to this more enigmatic evil that Kernal, the hero of Dantec's 2003 novel Villa Vortex devotes himself, ironically entering the police force in order to hasten our society's collapse into chaos and Total War. But evil, as Baudrillard reminds us, is the intelligence of form and, in Villa Vortex, this form turns against Kernal when the novel transforms itself into an experimental metafiction with the character unwittingly becoming a “transnarrative zombie.”
Perfect Crime, Absolute Evil: In the Vortex with Baudrillard and Dantec
DOUGLAS MORREY IS SENIOR LECTURER IN FRENCH STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK WHERE HE RESEARCHES INTO FRENCH CINEMA AND CONTEMPORARY FRENCH FICTION. HE HAS PUBLISHED ARTICLES ON MAURICE DANTEC IN THE JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES AND ESPRIT CRéATEUR AND IS CURRENTLY COMPLETING A MONOGRAPH FOR LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY PRESS ENTITLED MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ: HUMANITY AND ITS AFTERMATH.