November 20, 2017
Murder in Memoriam: Discovery of Truth
Taking influence on real historical events, Didier Daeninckx’s prize winning second novel—Murder in Memoriam—crafts the widely known historic reality of the Holocaust with the overlooked tragedy known as the massacre of Algerians on the 17th of October in 1961. The two events are expertly crafted to create a world of universal truth at last acknowledged. Tying these histories together by use of characters, presentation of unknown truth, as well as applying agency to three points of views, Daeninckx works to legitimize the lesser-known events of the Algerians to fully realize the literary purpose of Murder in Memoriam.
A key to Daeninckx’s strategy …show more content…
The Algerian march on the 17th of October in 1961, and the presence of the camp for Jews at Drancy. In the start of the novel in 1961, Daeninckx demonstrates how quiet, seemingly insignificant moments and people have deeper meaning than meets the eye. The inhumane execution of Roger and the causality of brutality by the CRS on the Algerian people that are heavily prevalent in the opening chapter uncovers an otherwise unknown piece of France’s history with Algerians. Daeninckx paints the brutal scene lamenting, “Algerians impaled on the railings of the elevated métro, and rapes in police stations,” (p. 26-27). It is at the Préfecture of Police, when the insanity of the violent eruption of the march comes to fruition when it is revealed there are “forty-eight dead bodies” (p. 27) “Everything was consigned to the vaults of History and forgotten.” (p. …show more content…
Straying from the straightforward criminologist story to instead feature realities that had been left buried, the element of truth shines. Not only are Roger and Bernard aficionados of historical truth, the third—and perhaps most notable point of view—inspector Cadin, surpasses his role as policeman to also transition to a seeker of uncovering the truth of the past that had been concealed. The further Cadin travels into this mystery, the more he brings the past to present. In following with the expectations of a detective novel, there are times when Cadin receives bogus leads (p. 73), fails to follow procedure (p. 113), or flat out abandons the case at hand in pursuit of the bizarre heist at the height on the mystery. Throughout the story, we are rarely given the chance to breathe. Toward the climax, Cadin helplessly follows these false truths in search of honesty. All the while, these roadblocks lead to a greater discovery: the fact that a buried history can be a side effect of a broken society. Daeninckx writes, “Governments have no interest at all in seeing certain ghosts come back to life,” (p. 32) in referral to the idea that the government has no enthusiasm whatsoever when observing certain historical truths—such as that of Drancy, and the concealment of history in which Roger was researching—being known to the public. Truth, then, becomes a metaphor for shame. Something to be