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Mediating the North in Crime Fiction

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Merging the Vernacular Place with a Cosmopolitan Imaginary

image of Journal of World Literature

The multifaceted idea of the north is deeply embedded in literary and visual culture. This culturally forged and globally disseminated idea embraces the narratives of fear, as well elements of the supernatural and fantastic, political dimensions or specific topographies. By departing from the Nordic Noir subgenre, a globally dispersed literary genre, this article investigates how the depiction of local and global place creates an imaginary, which is in turn bound up with a broader notion of the north as an ostensible “elsewhere.” The article argues that the Nordic Noir’s foreign allure and overwhelming success rests upon a culturally forged idea of the north, found worldwide in various cultural expressions such as myths, folklore, fairy tales, literature, and contemporary cinema and trails centuries back in cultural history worldwide.

Affiliations: 1: Stockholm University


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