Hard boiled: Marxism and crime fiction
About this session
The world’s a dangerous place. The news is full of reports about criminal behaviour, police and politicians' responses. And it’s complemented by the crime-heavy menu of popular entertainment, books, TV series and movies. There is detective fiction that intersects with a huge range of milieux and interests: settings in just about any part of the world from Iceland to Botswana; US Black and immigrant, Australian Aboriginal and immigrant experiences; mathematics; bird watching and there’s even a multi-authored Christian, bird watching series with 27 titles. Then there are works in which crims are the main characters, from The Godfather to Sopanos, Power, and Yellowstone on screen.
What’s the history and appeal of crime fiction? How does it affect social attitudes? And how successful have attempts at socialist subversion of the genre been?