samedi 16 janvier 2010

A puff of visible breath

L'excellent blog Scandinavian Crime Fiction référence un article signé Laura Miller, disponible sur le site du Wall Street Journal: The Strange Case of the Nordic Detectives.

Le sujet: pourquoi les polars scandinaves ont-ils un tel succès, notamment aux USA?
What's the appeal of all this blood on the snow, police boots crunching over frozen grass and detectives whose every utterance comes in a puff of visible breath against a background of interminable night? Many of us do seem to be having an Ingmar Bergman moment right now.

(...) In Scandinavian detective fiction, this stoic ideal takes the form of a stalwart, methodical practicality. Almost all Nordic crime novels are procedurals, a genre that focuses on the often monotonous, day-to-day details of police work.
Ce n'est pas le premier article qui se pose cette question, le genre scandinave étant a priori assez éloigné du style américain que Miller décrit avec précision (et beaucoup d'humour):
Americans make procedurals too, but we prefer to trick them out in sexy technology (as seen in the TV series "CSI" and its countless spinoffs and imitators) and we like to put a hothead maverick like Michael Connolly's detective, Harry Bosch, in charge to fend off any hint of tedium. The American procedural requires at least one car chase, a dollop of gunplay and a few showdowns with the rules-bound, overly political department brass, so that our hero can demonstrate that his commitment to justice is purer and more passionate than his bosses'.
Selon Laura Miller, c'est précisément la sobriété des "héros" de polars scandinaves qui joue en leur faveur auprès du public:
Despite the existential malaise that frequently afflicts the characters of Nordic noir, the stern, bare-bones simplicity of its problem-solving methods is one of the form's austere pleasures. Like the arctic cold, the rigor is bracing. It transports us to a world where charm and glamor barely exist and count for little when they do, a world refreshingly free of flimflam, hype or irrational exuberance. What matters is putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping.

(...) The detectives of Nordic noir aren't impatient, eccentric geniuses or action heroes. Their methods—determination, humility and endurance—are available to everyone.
Je serais tout de même curieux de voir Bruce "Brute" Willis dans le rôle de Kurt Wallander. Pour le fun.

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