“Tattooed by Politics”

Under the headline “Tattooed by Politics – Swedish detective fiction is highly profitable and intent on slaying the dragon of capitalism” in today’s Wall Street Journal, Michael C. Moynihan — senior editor at Reason Magazine – proposes (tongue-in-cheek, I would presume) the creation of a new price, “Bad Politics in Fiction,” where Swedish crime
writers, Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell et al, would come high up on the list.

In fact, writes Moynihan, Mankell’s “The Man from Beijing” would receive the 2010 first prize – if it existed.

This trend started already long ago with Sjowall and Wahloo and their Martin Beck-series, according to Moynihan, and they were followed by PO Enquist, Jan Guillou, Stieg Larsson, Liza Marklund, and all the rest.

It is a shame, seems Moynihan to say, referring to the “brilliant but often overlooked” Swedish authors like Hjalmar Soderberg, Vilhelm Moberg, August Strindberg,  and Selma Lagerlof, that today,  Sweden’s “literary reputation of being murdered, but there’s no mystery about the identity of the perpetrators.”



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