Tatort Germany

Tatort Germany

The Curious Case of German-Language Crime Fiction

Edited by Lynn M. Kutch, Todd Herzog

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New essays by leading scholars examining today's vibrant and innovative German crime fiction, along with its historical background.

Although George Bernard Shaw quipped that "the Germans lack talent for two things: revolution and crime novels," there is a long tradition of German crime fiction; it simply hasn't aligned itself with international trends. During the 1920s, German-language writers dispensed with the detective and focused instead on criminals, a trend that did not take hold in other countries until after 1945, by which time Germany had gone on to produce antidetective novels that were similarly ahead of their time. German crime fiction has thus always been a curious case; rather than follow the established rules of the genre, it has always been interested in examining, breaking, and ultimately rewriting those rules. This book assembles leading international scholars to examine today's German crime fiction. It features innovative scholarly work that matches the innovativeness of the genre, taking up the Regionalkrimi; crime fiction's reimagining and transforming of traditional identities; historical crime fiction that examines Germany's and Austria's conflicted twentieth-century past; and how the newly vibrant Austrian crime fiction ties in with and differentiates itself from its German counterpart.

Contributors: Angelika Baier, Carol Anne Costabile-Heming, Kyle Frackman, Sascha Gerhards, Heike Henderson, Susanne C. Knittel, Anita McChesney, Traci S. O'Brien, Jon Sherman, Faye Stewart, Magdalena Waligórska.

Lynn M. Kutch is Professor of German at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Todd Herzog is Professor and Head of the Department of German Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Lynn M. Kutch and Todd Herzog
Vor Ort: The Functions and Early Roots of German Regional Crime - Kyle Frackman
Krimi Quo Vadis: Literary and Televised Trends in the German Crime Genre - Sascha Gerhards
Plurality and Alterity in wolf Haas's Detective Brenner Mysteries - Jon Sherman
The Case of the Austrian Regional Crime Novel - Anita McChesney
"Darkness at the Beginning": The Holocaust in Contemporary German Crime Fiction - Magdalena Waligórska
Case Histories: The Lagacy of Nazi Euthanasia in Recent German Heimatkrimis - Susanne C. Knittel
"Der Fall Loest": A Case Study of Crime Stories and the Public Sphere in the GDR - Carol Anne Costabile-Heming
What's in Your Bag?: "Freudian Crimes" and Austria's Nazi Past in Eva Rossmann's Freudsche Verbrechen - Traci S. O'Brien
Layered Deviance: Intersexuality in Contemporary German Crime Fiction - Angelika Baier
Girls in the Gay Bar: Performing and Policing Identity in Crime Fiction - Faye Stewart
Eva Rossmann's Culinary Mysteries - Heike Henderson
Works Cited


[C]omprehensive and interesting analysis. . . . For readers in Germany and Austria as well the essays in Tatort Germany should be of great interest [because it allows one] to learn how the German-language detective novel is perceived in the US. I recommend Tatort Germany as an enrichment of any collection of secondary literature on the genre. CRIMEMAG

This volume offers a rich insight into contemporary German-language crime fiction and its emerging trends. . . . [T]he extensive analysis of currently untranslated texts--with quotations in English--performs an important function, too, especially as it serves to encourage more translations of German-language crime novels in future. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

The volume's focus on contemporary trends in German-language crime fiction offers a welcome corrective to [the widespread lack of knowledge of German-language crime fiction in the English-speaking world], as does its exploration of the "peculiarly German twists" of the genre in its three sections on place, history, and identity. . . . [R]ich and diverse . . . highly recommended for researchers of genre fiction, whether working in German Studies or beyond: quotations are provided in German and English, and an extensive bibliography[y] direct[s] readers to resources in both languages. . . . MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW [Katharina Hall]

[C]onvincingly make[s] a case for the serious scholarly study of your favorite guilty pleasure: those prolific German crime novels that are, in their own idiosyncratic way, every bit as good as their English and Swedish counterparts. By placing twenty-first century German crime fiction into its historical, international and theoretical contexts, Kutch and Herzog-and the volume's contributors-provide a fascinating broader explanation of a current literary phenomenon. WOMEN IN GERMAN NEWSLETTER [Rob McFarland]

That crime fiction written in German represents a "curious case" has been established before, but a more wide-reaching case can indeed be made for contemporary German-language crime fiction, and the editors and contributors of this volume succeed in doing so quite admirably. JOURNAL OF AUSTRIAN STUDIES [Thomas Kniesche]

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