Michael Dibdin, l'écrivain anglais, auteur du pastiche holmésien L'Ultime défi de Sherlock Holmes, est décédé le 30 mars à l'âge de 60 ans.
Né en Angleterre en 1947, installé aux Etats-Unis, Michael Dibdin a habité l'Italie durant de longues années. Il est l'auteur des aventures du policier Aurelio Zen et de L'Ultime défi de Sherlock Holmes.
L'Ultime défi de Sherlock Holmes de Michael Dibdin
Collection : Rivages/Noir, n°502
A la veille de sa mort, le docteur Watson se sent le devoir de coucher sur le papier la dernière aventure de Sherlock Holmes. "J'espérais parvenir, en empruntant ne serait-ce que son style à Arthur Conan Doyle, à rendre mon récit un peu plus convaincant. Mais je n'en suis même pas capable", avoue le vieil homme, qui ajoute : "je suis médecin et soldat ; je dois me contenter de rédiger un rapport." Un rapport qui ne sera pas imprimé avant 1972. "Quel genre d'hommes peuplera la terre à cette date fabuleuse ?", se demande Watson. "A cette époque-là, personne, peut-être, n'aura même entendu parler de Jack l'Eventreur, ni de Sherlock Holmes..." Michael Dibdin n'est pas le premier à lancer le plus grand détective du monde sur les traces du plus grand criminel de l'histoire (voir Sherlock Holmes contre Jack l'Eventreur d'Ellery Queen). Mais la solution qu'il apporte à l'énigme de Whitechapel est, de loin, la plus originale et la plus forte.
Michael Dibdin died at home in Seattle on March 30, 2007, just a few days after his 60th birthday.
From The Telegraph (UK):
Born in Wolverhampton, England, Dibdin was best known as the author of the Aurelio Zen mysteries, set in Italy.
"Michael Dibdin, the bestselling crime writer, who has died aged 60, created
the maverick Venetian detective Aurelio Zen, one of the quirkiest sleuths in
"An "inveterate scribbler" from an early age, the teenage Dibdin read
voraciously at school, and was influenced by such crime writers as Chandler,
Simenon and Conan Doyle, as well as by the early novels of Len Deighton. At
the height of the "Swinging Sixties" he took a degree in English Literature
at Sussex University, and "surprised myself" by accepting a graduate
assistantship for a Master's degree at the University of Edmonton in Canada,
qualifying as an English teacher so that he could travel.
"But in the event Dibdin stayed in Alberta for five years, painting houses
to make a living, getting married for the first time and writing "a huge,
pretentious, unreadable novel about the meaning of the universe by someone
who didn't have much to say". His first published novel, The Last Sherlock
Holmes Story, his self-proclaimed "pastiche", appeared in 1978."
Crime novelist Michael Dibdin was born in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands on 21 March 1947 and was educated at schools in Scotland and Ireland. He read English at Sussex University and studied for an MA at the University of Alberta in Canada.
His first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, was published in 1978. Dibdin then spent four years in Italy teaching at the University of Perugia. Italy provided the social and political backdrop for his series of crime novels featuring Venetian policeman Aurelio Zen, the first of which, Ratking, was published in 1988. Other books in this series include Cabal (1992), Dead Lagoon (1994), Cosi Fan Tutte (1996), A Long Finish (1998) and Blood Rain (1999), in which Zen faces death at the hands of the Sicilian Mafia. And Then You Die (2002), the eighth book in the series, finds a contemplative Zen recuperating on the Tuscan coast waiting to travel to America to testify in an anti-Mafia trial. Medusa (2003), explores the murky history of post-war Italy. The last in the series, Back to Bologna, was published in 2005.
Dibdin's other novels include Dirty Tricks (1991), a story of greed and betrayal set in Thatcherite Britain; The Dying of the Light (1993), a parody of the traditional 'whodunit' set in a country hotel; Dark Spectre (1995), set in an American town gripped by a series of seemingly random murders; and Thanksgiving (2000), the story of a journalist's obsession with his recently dead American wife.
Having lived for a number of years in Oxford, England, Michael Dibdin moved to Seattle with his wife. He was a regular reviewer for various newspapers and journals including the Independent on Sunday. He was awarded a Crime Writers' Association Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction in 1988 and the French Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in 1994. He edited The Picador Book of Crime Writing in 1993 and the Vintage Book of Classic Crime in 1997.