813 and the Ubermensch

Those of you who remember my article on French detective fiction know that I was greatly impressed by the short story on Maurice Leblanc’s famed master thief, Arsene Lupin.  This novel, 813, has great pacing and offers a sweeping adventure of crime and international intrigue.  The action and intrigue keep one immersed in the work.

813

However, this novel would rate as ephemeral literature were it not for its treatment of our hero Arsene Lupin.  Lupin is essentially an Übermench or superman figure.  What he wants done gets done.  Anyone standing in his way is dealt with.  Even if Lupin must suffer ignominies and endure reverses, his final victory is always gained through his tenacity and resourcefulness.  The end of the novel, however, deconstructs the whole idea of a person being complete master of his own destiny and the desirability of being a superman like Lupin.  I encourage all my dear readers to pick up this work, especially if they have not read an Arsene Lupin fiction before–and no, the anime Lupin III isn’t a valid substitute. 🙂

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