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  • A Cosmopolitan North in Nordic Noir: Turning Swedish Crime Fiction into World Literature

    Louise Nilsson

    Chapter from the book: Helgesson, S et al. 2018. World Literatures: Exploring the Cosmopolitan-Vernacular Exchange.


    The chapter focuses on how Swedish translated crime fiction becomes visually framed – as a foreign literature – on a transnational book market and how this domestic literature intersects with the cosmopolitan mediascape. The main argument is that the perception of Swedish crime fiction as a local literature – often perceived as exotic through its wintery covers – rests upon the shoulders of cultural history, popular culture as well as fine arts. Here the discussion shows how marketing connects the local place with a cosmopolitan space. The book cover serves as empirical departure and the qualitative analysis employs discourse analysis as the theoretical and methodological point of departure, discussing subject positions, nodal points and social relations discernible on the cover. The chapter exemplifies how iconic culturally embedded symbols, from myths and folklore, holds a symbolic position in the discursive field of the crime fiction genre. This aesthetic belongs though to a multilayered and faceted mediascape where visual expressions intertwine with the circulation of literature, allowing not only foreign literature to enter the transnational book market for world literatures but also contributing to forging new imaginaries of foreign places as well as narratives.

    How to cite this chapter
    Nilsson, L. 2018. A Cosmopolitan North in Nordic Noir: Turning Swedish Crime Fiction into World Literature. In: Helgesson, S et al (eds.), World Literatures. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bat.ab

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Additional Information

    Published on Nov. 22, 2018


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