European culture returns to decadence of the early 20th century. Frenchmen again guess a children’s riddle they themselves invented. And they do it very seriously. In France, there is even a Friends of Phantomas association. This is not a sect or a literary circle. The members of the association want to know Phantomas’s origin. According to Phantomas’s friends, people like Fandor or Juve are rare, who believe that they could solve the mystery of this demonic hero. Phantomas is inconceivable. And he will be inconceivable to the very end. He will resist up to his last breath, and afterwards he will probably turn into a virus annihilating humanity. One of these days, in Paris, in Pampidou Centre, a seminar devoted to the cult film and to the cult figure took place. At the seminar, books and web-sites devoted to Phantomas were presented, old films of Claude Chabrol were shown. At the seminar manuscrips of journalists Marceile Allain and Pierre Souvestre who created in 1911 the character considered by Europeans to be embodiment of evil. Souvestre died in 1914, while Allain lived till 1969, though he was always under pressure of this twilight character. After having carefully studied the main character of the literary works and films, scientists, critics, and specialists in study of literature concluded that today’s politicians see Phantomas in bin Laden, while music lover find him similar to Daft Punk. Chirac, as well as his wish to put on the knee suburbs of Paris and all France gradually becomes the main object of the critics, while namely from the suburbs apaches came in the early 20th century, criminals who acted together with Phantomas, spiritual fathers of today’s youth bands. Fandor, the journalist who later got to know that he was Phantomas’s son embodies the press being aware of his defeat. A journalist who participated in the seminar said: “Phantomas extends his hands to us from computer monitors and smothers us. While in Phantomas’s girlfriend madly loving the “damned angel” who killed her husband, psychiatrists see a tragic manifestation of hopeless passion. In Russia, even in Soviet times, Phantomas was considered to be a parody. Children liked playing Phantomas, while children never play real evil.
Yelena Kiseleva PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/culture/2002/05/29/41940.html