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Devereux Herbeck publishes on fictional portrayals of French female concierges

Mariah Devereux Herbeck, professor of French in the Department of World Languages, published her article, “Lost in Adaptation: The Silencing of the French Female Concierge” in Women in French Studies. The Women in French organization exists to promote the study of women writers and women in civilization in the French-speaking world. The organization publishes Women in French Studies once a year.

Devereux Herbeck’s article purports that fictional representations of the female concierge frequently underscore her negative attributes, above all her meddlesome discourse. She writes that, “the female concierge character in Georges Simenon’s 1933 novel, ‘Les fiançailles de M. Hire,’ provides an exception to the rule as local law authorities give credence to her word and base their investigation on her testimony. However, in two filmic adaptations of the novel—Duvivier’s ‘Panique’ (1946) and Patrice Leconte’s ‘Monsieur Hire’ (1989)—the female concierge character is practically absent.”

Devereux Herbeck’s article demonstrates how, from page to screen, the films of Duvivier and Leconte dissect, disembody and displace the role of the concierge, and, in conclusion, reflect upon the significance of her silencing.