I’ve been greatly enjoying the new Lupin series adaptation for the past few days and am going back now to the original stories. As good as the show is overall, the one misstep for me is their opting to pursue personal tragedy/drama in favor of the pure flight-of-fancy flair of the original tales. I know it is unacceptably childish now to have a character without flaws and scars but that requirement of modern taste is precisely why keeping to the spirit of the original would’ve been a bolder choice than the route they took. As example, here are two tone-setting passages from the first story – The Arrest of Arsène Lupin (given in translation because that’s how my childhood edition was).
Arsène Lupin, the fastidious gentleman who confines his operations to country-houses and fashionable drawing-rooms, and who one night, after breaking in at Baron Schormann’s, had gone away empty-handed, leaving his visiting-card:
with these words added in pencil:
“Will return when your things are genuine.”
and a bit later:
All this was very wonderful, and pointed clearly to the humorous handiwork of a burglar, if you like, but an artist besides. He worked at his profession for a living, but also for his amusement. He gave the impression of a dramatist who thoroughly enjoys his own plays and who stands in the wings laughing heartily at the comic dialogue and diverting situations which he himself has invented.