Malet's Maps and Butor's Bleston: City-Space and Formal Play in the roman policier

This essay explores the cartographic and narrative representations of the city in Léo Malet’s Les Nouveaux mystères de Paris (1954-59) and Michel Butor’s L’Emploi du temps (1956). Through the “open closure” of Malet’s Paris arrondissements and Butor’s fictional Bleston, the authors use maps to play with generic conventions of the detective novel while marking the paradoxes of an emergent spatiality marked by urban dispersal and criminal containment.