Tradition and Subversion in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sigrid M. King

Abstract


Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo both pays homage to and subverts the crime fiction tradition. Larsson’s strategy enables him to expand his work’s focus beyond “whodunit” to the social justice issue of abuse of public trust by those in power. Larsson’s tactic of subversion is particularly pronounced in his depiction of the corrupt Vanger family, use of graphic violence, and rejection of the Golden Age detective character. These elements are examined in juxtaposition to the country house, locked-room, and puzzle/secret code mystery traditions. Despite the elements that pay homage to traditional crime fiction, Larsson’s novel clearly questions the certainties and assumptions embodied in mysteries of the Golden Age.


Keywords


Stieg Larsson; Swedish crime fiction; Dragon Tattoo; Genre; British Golden Age; country house mystery; locked-room mystery; puzzle mystery

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References


Works Cited

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