Eugène Labiche

The Lourcine Street Affair

After a night of drunkenness, Lenglume wakes up one morning in bed with his former high school classmate Mistingue. As the two men struggle to recall and piece together what happened the night before, they notice that some of their personal belongings are missing: an umbrella with a monkey’s head on the handle, and a monogrammed handkerchief. Over lunch, they learn from the newspaper that their belongings have been found next to the body of a pit brow woman. As memory plays tricks on them, the two of them live in the knowledge that they are the perpetrators of a heinous murder. From that moment on, the plot picks up speed, events follow one another at a frantic pace and our heroes, overwhelmed by the nightmare of psychosis, begin to act like real killers…

The Lourcine Street Affair precisely shows the ambiguous line between appearance and reality, between protest and resignation, between the guilt we feel and the criminal instinct we all harbour. All this, of course, with plenty of dark humour.