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Chapter 4 - The International Crime Fiction Collection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2022

Jesper Gulddal
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
Stewart King
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
Alistair Rolls
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
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Summary

Scholarship underestimates the role publishers have played in making crime fiction a popular genre worldwide. This chapter analyses the origins and development of crime fiction collections like the Italian I libri gialli (The Yellow Books), the French Série Noire (Black Series), the Argentinian Séptimo círculo (Seventh Circle), the German Goldmanns Taschen-Krimis (Goldman’s Pocket Crime Novels) and the British Green Penguins, among others. It argues that crime collections have enabled popular culture to gain a foothold in often hostile and elitist literary environments. It highlights how, by translating foreign crime novels, they have adapted crime tropes into a local context and facilitated the establishment of local traditions, thus facilitating crime fiction’s global reach. It also suggests that crime collections have sometimes performed an act of resistance towards cultural hegemony. Finally, it argues that, by fostering both imitation and innovation, they have helped create a network of mutual influences that has resulted in new forms of crime fiction, turning the genre into transnational and transcultural literature, that is, world literature.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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