Arne Dahl

 

Arne Dahl

Creator: Arne Dahl (pseudonym of Jan Arnald)
Born in: Sollentuna, Sweden
Born on: January 11, 1963
Nationality: Swedish

Literary series title: Sam Berger & Molly Blom series
Literary series started in
: 2016, Utmarker (Eng. transl.: Watching You)
Original language: Swedish
Publisher: Albert Bonniers Förlag
Number of books (original editions): 4
Latest title published in: Friheten, 2020
Translations: Yes

Literary series title: Intercrime series
Literary series started in
: 1999, Misterioso (Eng. transl.: The Blinded Man)
Original language: Swedish
Publisher: Albert Bonniers Förlag
Number of books (original editions): 11
Latest title published in: 2008, Elva (Eng. transl.: Eleven)
Translations: Yes

Literary series title: The Op-cop series
Literary series started in
: 2011, Viskleken (Eng. transl.: Chinese Whispers)
Original language: Swedish
Publisher: Albert Bonniers Förlag
Number of books (original editions): 4
Latest title published in: 2014, Sista paret ut (Eng. transl.: Last Couple Out)
Translations: Yes

Television series title: Arne Dahl
Television series started in: 2011
Producer: Filmlance International, Sweden
Number of seasons: 2
Latest season broadcast: 2015
Transnational distribution: Yes

Case study rationale

Jan Arnald is a prolific Swedish writer and literary critic. He has published a range of international crime novels under the pseudonym Arne Dahl. With his books translated into 32 languages and a preference for stories about international crime, Jan Arnald is truly transnational in scope. His Intercrime series has been televised by Filmlance International and broadcast on Swedish and British television 2011-2015. Arnald’s crime stories draw on the Swedish tradition of socio-critical narratives, popularized by Mai Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Internationally, the Arne Dahl novels have been associated with Nordic Noir, but the writer sometimes writes in opposition to some of the main characteristics of the subgenre. Most importantly, his main characters in the Intercrime and the OpCop series does not directly hold the physical and psychological flaws often associated with e.g. Martin Beck and Kurt Wallander. For Jan Arnald, the meta-layers of the narratives have also been directly protruding his project about authorship. The crime authorship started as the unknown pseudonym Arne Dahl, and only after the fourth Intercrime novel the real authorship behind the project was disclosed. The identity of Jan Arnald was, nevertheless, hidden in a name that was considered a ¾ anagram of Jan Arnald. However, the selfreflexive manner of the two now associated authorships – Arnald and Dahl – was taken to new levels when the author wrote an Arne Dahl novel under his real name, i.e. Jan Arnald’s Intimus, and a Jan Arnald novel under the Arne Dahl pseudonym, i.e. Arne Dahl novel Eleven. The Arne Dahl novels work on two levels and contains, in fact, two model readers. On the one hand, it is very much possible to read the novels as entertaining, surprising and strongly plotted crime narratives in the vein of Nordic Nor. On the other hand, one gains access to a deeper level of artistic and intertextual features by reading between the lines and uncovering the hidden gems of literary, cultural, intellectual, pop-cultural and philosophical history scattered strategically throughout the authorship. Some of these features are abandoned in the Berger & Blom series that seeks a more intimate narrative with only two main characters and slightly more in the vein of traditional Nordic Noir novels.

Online research resources

 

Watch

Jan Arnald speaking at the DETECt conference in Aarhus, 2019:

Jan Arnald speaking at the DETECt conference in Aarhus, 2019:

Interview to Jan Arnald at the Giallo Festival 2020:

Interview to Jan Arnald at the Giallo Festival 2020:

Interviews with Jan Arnald about Watching You, Sam and Molly, and Writing in general, 2017:

Interviews with Jan Arnald about Watching You, Sam and Molly, and Writing in general, 2017:

Trailer of the tv series Misterioso:

Trailer of the tv series Misterioso:

Trailer UK tv-series Arne Dahl:

Trailer UK tv-series Arne Dahl:

Read

  • Kirkegaard, Peter. ”Arne Dahl – Le véritable héritier de Sjöwall et Wahlöö”. Etudes Germaniques 65/4 (2010).
  • Hurcombe, Martin. “Writing Wrongs: Contemporary European Crime Fiction and the Spectre of Euro-Fascism in the Novels of Didier Daeninckx, Arne Dahl and Jo Nesbø”. War, Experience and Memory in Global Cultures Since 1914. Ed. Angela K Smith, Sandra Barkhof. London and New York: Routledge, 2018.
  • Hansen, K. T. “Crime fiction and mediatized religion: Towards a theory of post-secular crime fiction”. Paper presented at Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS), Chicago, United States, 2011.

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