Malmö University Publications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
High Crime in Contemporary Scandinavian Literature
Malmö högskola, School of Teacher Education (LUT), Culture-Languages-Media (KSM).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9383-6944
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Crime Fiction / [ed] Andrew Nestingen, Paula Arvas, University of Wales Press, 2011, p. 148-158Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The novel turning to crime fiction for inspiration is naturally not a new phenomenon. Writers as diverse as Joseph Conrad, Fjodor Dostojevskij, Graham Greene, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Paul Auster and Thomas Pynchon are prominent examples. In Scandinavia, Kjartan Fløgstad, Jan Kjaerstad, Klaus Rifbjerg, Dan Turell, Svend Aage Madsen, Kerstin Ekman and Aino Trosell can also be mentioned. In fact, with the emergence of postmodernism, high-culture interest in the genre of crime fiction rapidly intensified, which led to extensive attempts by literary theorists to describe and analyze what was often labelled the anti-crime novel. In Scandinavia, a postmodern variant of this phenomenon was epitomized by Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (English translation 1993). Critical responses to this work show a number of contradictions and ambivalences concerning the relationship between high and low culture. In this chapter I first describe and criticize how postmodern theory has regarded the relationship between high literature and crime fiction. I then analyse the reception of Peter Høeg’s novel. Although theorists and critics express a positive and welcoming attitude towards the influences of the popular, their high-culture expectations dispose them towards treating its crime-fiction features as parody or critique. The crime novel in itself is seen as an outdated literary form, incapable of renewal – unless the high-culture author revises it and rewrites it. Contrary to this, I show in my own reading of the novel that it is possible to see the novel as conforming to rather than transgressing the conventions of crime fiction. Finally, I discuss how Hoeg’s proximity to popular culture ultimately led to his dethronement. I also outline some possible changes since the release of Miss Smilla. Has critical and theoretical logic changed? How can the enormous appeal of crime fiction be explained – and its continuing ability to evoke strong feelings and struggles over what is, and what is not, legitimate literature?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Wales Press, 2011. p. 148-158
Series
European Crime Fictions
Keywords [en]
crime fiction, Peter Hoeg, postmodernism, high and low culture
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-10096Local ID: 12207ISBN: 978-0-7083-2330-4 ISBN: 978-0-7083-2331-1 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-10096DiVA, id: diva2:1407128
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2023-07-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Authority records

Persson, Magnus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Persson, Magnus
By organisation
Culture-Languages-Media (KSM)
Humanities and the Arts

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 371 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf