It’s truly a damned year; another important personality has been lost to both literature and punk music.
One of the harshest, most radical and politically controversial writers of the first part of XXI century.
Born in the ‘banlieue rouge’ of Grenoble, he was involved in the late 70s punk scene and formed a band called “État d’urgence” (“State of Emergency”) that soon changed its name to Artefact. The spirit remained the same but the sound changed in a more synth-pop/post punk direction (‘hard muzak’ was the definition invented by Dantec), they released two singles, through Dorian, and a fine full-length album ‘Agit’ Pop’ via the Celluloid label in 1981 before splitting up.
He seriously started his career as writer in the early ‘90s. His debut novel ‘The Red Siren’ was published in the Gallimard’s ‘Série Noire’ in 1993.
Dantec prefers the strays, the rejected but also the thugs custodian of secret shameful truths. Typical is the character of the Bosnian War veteran Hugo Cornelius that appeared in ‘The Red Siren’ for the first time and in all his novels thereafter.
His most representative and successful novel was ‘The Roots Of Evil’ (1995) which approached cyberpunk and especially ‘Babylon Babies’ (1998), a catastrophic tale of a world close to ruin and extinction drowned in local conflicts and civil wars. The book was later adapted, with his help, to a screenplay for the big budget movie ‘Babylon A.D.’ directed by Mathieu Kassowitz with mediocre results disapproved by the author.
In the meantime, he collaborated at the Schizotrope project, a reading of the works of the great philosopher Gilles Deleuze accompanied by the guitarist and electronics innovator Richard Pinhas (Heldon).
Unfortunately, his tough experience as a war reporter during the Yugoslavian war in the mid-‘90s (his memoir: ‘Les Théatre de Operations‘) will bear fruit to his best works but also will trigger a sort of repulsion against the ‘decadence of Europe ’ and bring him to extreme, politically incorrect, anti-Islam stances.
Disgusted by the French political situation, he retired to self-imposed exile in Canada where he flirted with the traditional ‘black’ Catholicism of Montreal. Isolated by the French literary system and confined in his resentful Nietzschean nihilism where ‘the world is a limitless creator of pain’, Dantec fell into a progressive oblivion, psychosis, abuse and illness.
Dantec had the natural skill to know, mix and contaminate with beautiful boldness literary genres such as science fiction, the French ‘polar’, the American ‘hardboiled’, the cyberpunk and even the Feuilleton.
An excessive, flamboyant, irregular and heretic character that, like it or not, has given us visionary and unforgettable pages that will live with us forever.
“Only the chaos is real”
No One Is Innocent:
Dead Sexy Inc