Monday, August 06, 2007

Detectives beyond other borders

Have you ever peered into a telescope only to find someone peering right back at you? Neither have I, but that's the feeling I get when I find an overseas blog that explores the exotic world of American crime fiction.

I recently received a comment from Bernd Kochanowski, keeper of the newish German-language blog Internationale Krimis, or International crime fiction, which offers "thoughts about crime fiction, especially from the U.S., Great Britain and Ireland." I'll keep an eye on it to see if it offers a perspective on the American scene that I might have missed because I'm too close to it. [Rhian, keeper of the It's a Crime! (or a mystery...) blog, who signs her comments "crimeficreader," might be interested in Bernd's blog signature. He calls himself "krimileser," which means crime fiction reader.]

Then there's Jazz al Nero, an encyclopaedic effort that I recently deemed schmoozeable. This Italian blog's bibliographies are a sobering reminder of how little crime fiction is translated into English. Take the entry on Håkan Nesser. Why should an author from Sweden be especially attractive to readers in Italy? Yet at least five of his books have been translated into Italian, versus just two into English.

© Peter Rozovsky 2007

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14 Comments:

Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter please could you ask Bernd for a list of Glauser Prize winners over the past 5 years.

August 06, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

Here's a list of best-novel Glauser winners: http://www.die-criminale.de/bestes-buch.html.

Here's a list of best-debut winners: http://www.die-criminale.de/debutroman.html

And here's a link to more winners' lists: http://www.die-criminale.de/friedrich-glauser-preis.html

... unless you meant the question as a test for Bernd!

August 06, 2007  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks, it was not a test I was just interested to see how many were available in English for us non-linguists.

August 07, 2007  
Anonymous krimileser said...

Peter thanks.

If you, Uriah Robinson have further questions, you could send me an email via my blog (in german "Fragen und Anregungen"). And ... are you aware, that there is also the "Deutsche Krimi Preis" (German Crime Award). Overall, its awardees are "better". Anyway, as far as I know, the best german crime writers have not been translated into english.

August 07, 2007  
Anonymous LauraR said...

Equally annoying, Vasquez Montalban's non-series crime novels are available in German but not English.

On the Glauser list, only Bernhard Schlink and Ingrid Noll seem to be translated into English at all.

August 07, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

Bitte, Uriah. You're welcome, Krimileser.

I found this Web site, which I think links to all the winners of the Deutsche Krimi Preis: http://www.krimilexikon.de/dkp/aktuell.html

I learned about the Glauser prize because I have read and enjoyed the four novels by Glauser that Bitter Lemon Press has published in English. I think he is one of the greatest writers of crime fiction ever. I have also read English translations of novels by Günter Ohnemus and Jörg Fauser, both very good, and an excellent story by Gunter Gerlach.

August 07, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

The list goes on, Laura: Just three of Helene Tursten's eight available in English, and a number of Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano novels being unavailable in English are the two examples that come to mind.

August 07, 2007  
Anonymous cfr said...

What a funny old world!
By the way, I'm getting lazy these days and shortening to cfr...

August 07, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

Like Hong Kong Shanghai Bank calling itself HSBC or Toronto Dominion shortening it name to TD Banknorth!

August 07, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

Krimileser, I forgot about Jakob Arjouni, two of whose novels I've read. More Beer (also publised as and Still Drink More!) was strong, and One Death to Die had several annoying quirks.

August 07, 2007  
Anonymous krimileser said...

Peter,

yes "More Beer" (German: Mehr Bier) is good.

Glauser is not famous in Germany. And most reader think, that Friedrich Dürrenmatt is the founder of modern crime literatur in german language.

August 09, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

I would like to able to offer comments on your blog, aber Ich spreche fast kein Deutsch!

I have read that Glauser influenced Dürrenmatt, and I can believe that. I also read an interesting article on a Goethe-Institut Web site that said those two writers found no followers in German crime fiction, so I suppose I am not shocked to hear that Glauser is not well-known in Germany. (The article is here, if you're interested: http://www.goethe.de/kue/lit/thm/en26884.htm.)

Dürrenmatt seems as if he loses interest in the crime in order to focus on its effect on one person. I don't see much of his influence in the few recent German crime novels I've read.

OK, who are the best German crime writers? And who are the best German crime writers whose work has been translated into English?

August 09, 2007  
Anonymous krimileser said...

"OK, who, are the best German crime writers? And who are the best German crime writers whose work has been translated into English?"

Peter, sorry, toke me awhile, but I searched amazon to see which German authors have been translated.

To be honest: Not many. I found Martin Suter (a swiss author, btw) who is good.

OK, the best (whatever that is) German crime writers ? Astrid Paprotta (she would be international presentable), Norbert Horst (writing in very personal first person stream of consciousness), Friedrich Ani (his Tabor Süden series), D.B. Blettenberg (writing in foreign locations), Horst Eckert (he likes Ellroy, and sometimes it is palpable) and Pieke Biermann (she stopped writing novels, what a loss).

Beside them the austrian writers Wolf Haas (brillant language and terrible plotting, so more a good writer than a good crime writer) and Heinrich Steinfest (his style could be compared to Patrick Neates "City of Tiny Lights").

Dürrenmatt just wrote three crime novels to earn some money - and nothing more.

And like I wrote before: Feel free to add on my blog as many comments in English as you like.

August 12, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

First of all, thanks for the invitation to comment on your blog, even in English. Now, let's see how well I can use my little bit of German and understand your comments!

Thanks also for those reports on German authors. I'm sure I'll wind up doing research and posting comments about some of them.

An interesting comment about Dürrenmatt. The Pledge (Das Vesprechen) seems more like a short story or a subplot than a full-fledged novel. Maybe that's because he did not take crime writing seriously, although the need for money can be an incentive to be serious!

August 12, 2007  

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