Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Fouinard, Toto. Toto Fouinard was created by the French author Jules Lermina (Mr. Bobby) and appeared in La Vie D'Aventures #1-18 (1907-1908) and Toto Fouinard, le Petit Detective Parisien #1-12 (1908-1909); La Vie D’Aventures was reprinted in Portugal in 1909 and in Italy in 1928.
Aristide Fouinard is a Parisian teenage detective. He is known as “Toto,” which means, approximately, “Nosey Parker” or “little sneaking louse.” He is a small juvenile of indeterminate age, "between sixteen and twenty while appearing fifteen." He is a stereotypical Parisian, being both insouciant and a philosopher. Fouinard was orphaned when he was a child and spent his time learning "a thousand trades," finally becoming an actor and detecting on the side. Fouinard does not kill and does not carry a gun, but he is quite good with his fists and is even better with "Justine," his cane, who he calls his "most faithful collaborator."
His enemies are on the crazed side: insane scholars, mass murderers, ferocious gang members, Hindu fanatics, and scientist poisoners. Fouinard has a thin, clean-shaven face, and lively eyes. He is agile and is a capable prestidigitator, when necessary.
Fouinard appears in stories with titles like “Six Million Francs in Diamonds” and “The Exploits of Piedeboeuf” and “The Strangler of Port Saint-Martin.”
* I'm including Toto Fouinard in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because he was an archetypal and iconic figure. Read the entry again. While nothing is likely to strike you as exceptional, there's obviously a high degree of care & characterization that went into his character. His adventures are fun and properly adventurous; he does not kill; and his enemies are properly exaggerated, imaginatively conceived of, and villainous. Taken with Lermina's writing, which at least in the Fouinard stories is usually enjoyable, and you've got a high-quality French dime novel, the kind that others would (and did) look at and takes notes on. There's no single area in which Fouinard excels (except, perhaps, in his characterization), but with everything combined, he becomes iconic, and archetypally representative of his era.
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