Scholars have been investigating detective stories and crime fiction mostly as literary works reflecting the societies that produced them and the movement from modernism to postmodernism. However, these genres have generally been neglected by literary geographers. In the attempt to fill such an epistemological vacuum, this paper examines and compare the function and importance of geography in both classic and late 20th century detective stories. Arthur Conan Doyle’s and Agatha Christie’s detective stories are compared to Mediterranean noir books by Manuel Montalbán, Andrea Camilleri and Jean Claude Izzo. While space is shown to be at the center of the investigations in the former two authors, the latter rather focus on place, that is space invested by the authors with meaning and feelings of identity and belonging. From this perspective, the article argues that detective investigations have become a narrative medium allowing the readership to explore the writer’s representation/construction of his own territorial context, or place-setting, which functions as a co-protagonist of the novel. In conclusion, the paper suggests that the emerging role of place in some of the later popular crime fiction can be interpreted as the result of writer’s sentiment of belonging and, according to Appadurai’s theory, as a literary and geographical discourse aimed at the production of locality.

Place matters: geographical context, place belonging and the production of locality in Mediterranean Noirs / Gabellieri, Nicola. - In: GEOJOURNAL. - ISSN 0343-2521. - 87:(2022), pp. 3895-3913. [10.1007/s10708-021-10470-x]

Place matters: geographical context, place belonging and the production of locality in Mediterranean Noirs

Gabellieri, Nicola
2022-01-01

Abstract

Scholars have been investigating detective stories and crime fiction mostly as literary works reflecting the societies that produced them and the movement from modernism to postmodernism. However, these genres have generally been neglected by literary geographers. In the attempt to fill such an epistemological vacuum, this paper examines and compare the function and importance of geography in both classic and late 20th century detective stories. Arthur Conan Doyle’s and Agatha Christie’s detective stories are compared to Mediterranean noir books by Manuel Montalbán, Andrea Camilleri and Jean Claude Izzo. While space is shown to be at the center of the investigations in the former two authors, the latter rather focus on place, that is space invested by the authors with meaning and feelings of identity and belonging. From this perspective, the article argues that detective investigations have become a narrative medium allowing the readership to explore the writer’s representation/construction of his own territorial context, or place-setting, which functions as a co-protagonist of the novel. In conclusion, the paper suggests that the emerging role of place in some of the later popular crime fiction can be interpreted as the result of writer’s sentiment of belonging and, according to Appadurai’s theory, as a literary and geographical discourse aimed at the production of locality.
2022
Gabellieri, Nicola
Place matters: geographical context, place belonging and the production of locality in Mediterranean Noirs / Gabellieri, Nicola. - In: GEOJOURNAL. - ISSN 0343-2521. - 87:(2022), pp. 3895-3913. [10.1007/s10708-021-10470-x]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/313652
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