Crime does pay. The popularity of contemporary Russian detective stories.
The well-known fact of great changes which have taken place in Russia in the past twenty years finds its confirmation in the drastic change of the literary tastes of the Russian readers. Literature has lost its impact on the spiritual life of a common man, and people feel free to admit that they do not read classic literature, that they do not buy serious fiction. This literature demands a certain effort of thinking, and what the public wants is entertainment and a promise of justice and happiness. These years have been the years of the triumph of mass culture, and in Russia the crime literature is best when written by female authors. Aleksandra Marinina is undoubtedly the most important of all crime authors. She combines her experience as a former police offiser with her knowledge of criminal psychology (she has received her Doctor grade in this field) and great literary ability to involve the reader in the coplexity of the plot and the personality of her heroine Anastasia Kamenskaya. Darya Dontsova is not so interested in the documentary accuracy of her stories of crimes, they are always rather exotic, but are written with an humoristic touch and love for animals, all of it is very entertaining and relaxing. Some new trends in crime fiction by women writers are the theme of patriotism and highly intellectual superagents (Marina Serova. A very special place is occupied by Boris Akunin. Some of his novels are translated into Norwegian, and the readers can judge about his mastery in literary mistification. He writes about Russia of the X1Xth century, and his appeal lies in following the tradition of classic literature in great attention to the authenticity of the historical background and the characters. Very intricate plots and very good literary style. The new genre of crime fiction experiences the period of blossoming, but would readers return to the serious literature?
ForlagHøgskolen i Østfold
Østfold University College
SiteringI: Eva Lambertsson Björk, Karen Patrick Knutsen, Elin Nesje Vestli (red.): ”Modi operandi : perspektiver på kriminallitteratur”. [Halden], Høgskolen i Østfold, 2003,pp 283-294
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