Intercripol (ICCPO)'s activities

To put it in a nutshell, here are presented Interpol's different fields of action. On each title you'll find a link to the relevant pages. 

Detective Criticism

Investigating as a detective-critic means casting doubt on every single element of a fiction, in order to reveal a new meaning for the plot - different from the obvious one. Such approach implies that every detail should be thoroughly examined and pointed out as significant, as negligible as it seems. Detective critics show the greatest interest in narrative flaws or inconstistencies, and always suppose that narrative ellipses should be interrogated - because a lot can happen between the lines of a book, or between two images of a film. For example, there's a murder committed within the blank page in the middle of Alain Robbe-Grillet's Le Voyeur ; and comic-book designer Jean-Claude Mézières said once to his frustrated fans, wondering why there was no romance for his heroes Valerian and Laureline, that the two were actually kissing all the time - between the boxes... Unpunished murderers, secret affairs, missing characters...

Lift the veil from fiction, you'll see there are unsolved mysteries everywhere. There is a lot to explore in the blanks of a text, or between the images of a film. Intercripol has created a service dedicated to the search for missing characters, as Pierre Bayard describes in this article. This phenomenon is as shocking as it is frequent in fiction, and must be urgently dealt with. We can no longer tolerate, in the democratic era, such practices without reacting. The characters have rights, goddammit !

It should be noted that Intercripol, like its real-world counterpart Interpol, adopts an investigative methodology that refuses to stop at the boundaries of the fiction it investigates.

Our organisation relies on the active collaboration of its members, who specialise in a wide variety of fields of research, and just as Interpol often has to track down criminals in other countries, it is sometimes led to conduct the investigation in works other than those initially envisaged: while the work does not change its letter, some stories change radically, in fact, if they are put in relation to others. The MATRIOChCA project, notably by building on the leads launched by our team during its working meetings, aims to explore the links that unite the fictions between them (explicitly or beneath the surface), and that can modify the stakes and the interpretation.

Cross-border investigations

Just like Interpol (ICPO) in the real world, Intercripol (ICCPO) is meant to investigate beyond regular boundaries, so as to reveal that some stories radically change if you relate them to others. It's a well-known fact for prequels, sequels, spin-off, continuations, etc... For instance, it's quite a different ballgame if you watch Star Wars (a new hope) aware of the relations between Darth Vador and Luke Skywalker ; or if you consider Cherubino in Mozart's Nozze di Figaro knowing  the tragic destiny Beaumarchais imagined for him in la Mère coupable (The Guilty Mother). What if, as Bill Willingham's comic book Fables suggest, you think that Prince Charming is the same in all fairy tales - and must be a polygamist serial lover ?

For it's also possible to imagine much bolder connexions between different fictions, and perform, as Richard Saint-Gelais said, a "critical transfictional annexation", provided they are always supported by tangible clues.

Court criticism (reopening of iniquitus fictional trials)

Once we've arrested unpunished murderers, we'll have to finish the job and set a fair trial for them. Therefore we provide fictional character a chance for clearing their reputation, no matter how vilified they've been in the book or film in which they live. Following the path of Maurice Garçon, a 1950's lawyer who defended Electra and Julien Sorel in his book Plaidoiries chimériques (Mythical pleadings), we aim at helping harassed fictional minorities - such as this Blade Runner replicant that recently sued Tyrell Corp, the firm responsible for his creation.

Timeless detective criticism

For a wide variety of reasons, it can be argued that detective criticism has always existed. Pierre Bayard theorised the concept in 1998 with Qui a tué Roger Ackroyd (Éditions de minuit, and later published in English with The New Press in 2000). He was the first to suggest that Christie's solution had many flaws, and that the reader had to resume the investigation to uncover the identity of the real murderer. But we are not about to teach the author of Anticipatory Plagiarism that suspicious readings were born way before him... Click here to find out more about the history of detective criticism, and the distinct modalities each epoch's practice gave it. 

Archives: manuscripts, drafts and missing clues

We often only know the last state of given work, but it, more often than not, very different from its initial state. MATRIOChCA also aims to build up a database and provide access to various invisible possibilities, which will change the way you perceive your favourite works (writers' drafts, original scripts, variants, director's cuts). This will help you make the most of the information you have at your fingertips. Just because the author or the studio has preferred to delete it doesn't mean that you can't walk around in these alternative versions - and even prefer them. A valuable archival collection for our investigators, who can then rely on these concealed exhibits to conduct the investigation.