mandag den 9. marts 2009

Machokrimi i Marts # 2

Indlæg nr 2 om machokrimi - se det første her.
Forårsbillederne er fra min egen have.

Først mine læseres bemærkninger til genren "machokrimi":

Janes ´forsigtige´ forslag til regler:
a) detektiven skal være mandlig
b) detektiven regner sin maskulinitet for at være en vigtig del af sin identitet
c) det behøver ikke være et hoved-tema, men en machokrimi må indeholde nogle overvejelser om mænds rolle i samfundet.
Desuden mener Jane, at Håkan Nesser skriver machokrimier.

Bernds tankevækkende diskussion af Janes tredje regel:
"Macho" bruges normalt nedsættende. At tale om mænds rolle under overskriften ´macho´ vil derfor enten være en provokation/fornærmelse, eller pege i retning af et ikke særligt fornuftigt verdensbillede.
Ærlig talt tror jeg ikke, der findes en form for machokrimi, som du eller jeg ville bryde os om. Der er måske krimier, hvor hovedpersonen er macho, eller krimier som gør sig overvejelser om mænds rolle (jeg regner med, det er det du efterlyser), men der er ikke noget som svarer til femikrimi (tysk: Frauenkrimi).
[Og som den der er far til to drenge, og bor i et samfund som domineres af ´kvindelig kommunikation´ er jeg ked af at sige det: jeg ved ikke, hvad maskulinitet er]

Bernds eksempler på machokrimi:
Mickey Spillanes "I, the Jury" er ´macho´ krimi. John D MacDonald skriver om mænd og deres rolle fra en anden synsvinkel, med en mandlig hovedperson, men hans bøger er ikke ´macho´.

Mine egne overvejelser:
Hvis du har læst femikrimiens 10 bud og nåede helt ned til mine kommentarer, ved du allerede, at jeg ser ´femikrimi´ som to forskellige genrer:

1) feministiske krimier (eller krimier med et feministisk budskab)
a) ligestillingsfeminisme (søger ligestilling mellem kønnene)
b) radikal feminisme (kvinden er offer, manden er forbryderen)
2) feminine krimier (krimier med hyggelige historier om den kvindelige detektivs liv - indeholder ikke noget politisk budskab)

Som Bernd er inde på, kan machokrimi også tolkes på to forskellige måder:
1) krimier med et maskulint budskab - og her burde jeg kalde dem det modsatte af feministisk, men hvad er det? En modsætning til radikal faminisme kunne måske være det negative mandschauvisme, men hvad med undergenre a? Svært at komme på en dansk isme her.
2) mande-krimier (upolitiske krimier med underholdende historier om mandlige detektivers liv)

Til slut vil jeg gerne tage yderligere to temaer op:
A. Perioden: set med moderne læseres øjne, kan Sherlock Holmes bestemt godt kaldes en mandschauvinist, men er det fair at dømme ham ud fra en moderne synsvinkel? Eller kan vi tillade os at dømme Ruth Rendells tidlige Wexford-krimier på samme måde som de senere?
B. Sproglige aspekter: hvilken forskel gør det, hvilke betegnelser fortælleren og de mandlige personer bruger om kvinder? (Jeg har et par eksempler i min anmeldelse i morgen).

Og her er der masser af plads til dine forslag og overvejelser:

Machokrimi in March # 2
See my first post on this theme here. The not so macho photos are from my own backyard.

First: my readers´ comments.
Jane´s ´tentative´ suggestions:
a) the detective must be male
b) the detective considers his masculinity an important part of his identity
c) it might not be the main topic, but a macho-krimi should include some speculations about the role of men in society
Furthermore, Jane suggests that Hakon Nesser writes macho crime novels.
Bernd´s thoughtful discussion of Jane´s third suggestion:
Usually "macho" is used in a derogatory way. Therefore to talk about "the male question" under the header "macho" would be either offensive or, as macho predicts a certain world view not sensible.
To be honest I don't think that there is anything like macho-krimi, that you or I would care about. There might be crime fiction that features macho protagonists and there might be crime fiction speculating about male questions (that is what you have in mind, I think) but there is no equivalent to that what is called Frauenkrimi, i.e. femikrimi.
[And, sorry to say, being the father of two boys (and living in a society that is dominated by "female communication": I don't know what masculinity is.]

Bernd´s examples of machokrimi:
Obviously "I, The Jury" by Mickey Spillane would be a natural choice for "macho" crime fiction, John D. MacDonald would write from a quiet different point of view about maleness, with a truly male protagonist but his books have nothing to do with macho.
My own musings:
If you have read the ten commandments of the femikrimi and got as far as my comments, you will know that I see ´femikrimi´ as two quite different genres:
1) feministic crime fiction (or crime with a feministic message).
a) equality feminism (aim: equality between the genders)
b) radical feminism (women are victims, men protagonists)
2) feminine crime fiction (crime plus cosy stories about the female detectives´ lives - no political message)

As Bernd´s comments indicate, machokrimi could also be seen as two different concepts:
1) crime with a masculine message - and here I should put the antonym of feministic which is what? An antonym of radical feminism might be the negative terms machismo/male chauvenistic crime fiction, but what about subgenre a? I find it very difficult to come up with an even reasonably neutral term, but equalism might be the best solution.
2) masculine crime fiction (crime plus entertaining stories about the male detectives´ lives - no political message).

Further aspects I would like to raise are
A. The period: seen through the eyes of a modern reader, Sherlock Holmes may certainly be called a male chauvenist, but is it fair to judge him by our standards? Or judge Ruth Rendell´s early crime novels by them, for that matter?
B. Language: what do the terms used about women tell you about the attitude of the narrator and the characters of a crime novel? (I shall try to give some examples in my review tomorrow).

And here is plenty of space for your ideas and suggestions:

6 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

I think "noir" crime fiction is more "macho" than anything else. I'm thinking of David Peace because I just watched the film of his first book, 1974, on TV. But there are others, eg Alan Guthrie, Adrian McKinty etc. And I have only read one of his books, but Montalban seems rather machokrimi - his hero Pepe is very sexist I found - in a way I think (but am not sure) the author seemed to approve of, and find nothing wrong with. (eg sleeping with a vulnerable teenager, a suspect's daughter, which the author seemed to condone)

Dorte H sagde ...

I agree that the subgenres ´noir´ and ´hard-boiled´ are machokrimi.
And speaking of sexist novels I think you would agree that my review tomorrow is another example. What is worse is that I am not sure the author thinks about what he is doing - I think he may see it as some kind of parody of old, American crime novels.

Søren sagde ...

If noir and hard-boiled are the same as macho, one could argue that V.I.Warshawski is macho. Or?

I find the crimenovels of swedish writer Leif GW Persson very macho (I've read to of his novels, 'Between Summer's Longing And Winter's Cold' and 'The Pillars Of Society'). The persons in his books are cold men, only occupied with power, work and getting sex one way or the other.

Family life, feelings, happiness and sorrow are almost absent. To such a degree that I found it hard to find myself a 'hero' of his novels.

The main persons on both sides of the law, is almost entirely men and their personal life is not important, unless they are sexual/perverted/sadistic.

The absence of feelings and empathy together with the absence of women makes the novels macho...and a bit depressing alltogether:-)

Dorte H sagde ...

If one accepts the ´rules´ of femikrimi, they should be written by women, about women, and then a machokrimi rule must be - as Jane suggests - that it is written by and about men. Still, one of my blog readers suggested that Stieg Larsson wrote femikrimi, and of course I agree that Paretsky´s heroine is tough and hard-boiled.
Another reader suggested that all these rules are too rigid and old-fashioned. Perhaps; but I think some of the comments I get make the discussion worth while. For example the point that it is extremely difficult to find positive or even neutral words to describe the opposite of feminism and femikrimi! And as you say, some examples of macho crime fiction are depressing. In my opinion the same is the case when radical feminists write sheer crusades against all men, however.
So thanks for your contribution to the discussion.

marco sagde ...

Just arrived from Bernd's blog

But there are others, eg Alan Guthrie, Adrian McKinty etc.

The funny thing is that I've recently read the galley of Adrian's latest novel, Fifty Grand, and it is a femikrimi (all the commandments bar the first one apply) written from the perspective of a thoroughly believable female detective- neither superwoman nor idealized fantasy.

More in general, what I see reflected in this comment and others is a series of unspoken assumptions:

1) Noir=Macho=Gruesome
Here one only needs to think at Denise Mina or Val McDermid- and,since we're talking generalizations, Ian Rankin's view that a lot of femikrimis, and lesbokrimis in particular, were excessively gory and violent- which made the latter author go apeshit.

2) Noir=Macho=Lacking in psychological depth
Which isn't really justified- at most, it could be said that some styles of narration chose to leave out descriptions of the inner working of the minds of their characters because are more concerned with the larger scenario

3) Noir=Sexist and exploitative
Of course older hardboileds are often chauvinist, but modern noir concerns itself with the breakdown of society not an idealized world and its protagonists are often anti-heroes or villains- not heroes you should sympathize with or look after to.
I've read novels by Derek Raymond or Massimo Carlotto which featured extreme examples of violence/exploitation/humiliation of men upon women -none of them I would consider "fiction with a masculine message". Rather the opposite, in fact.
Seems to me the main problem is the absence of the sympathetic viewpoint character, often with soap-operatic family life, that some readers need when dealing with certain arguments or, putting it in another way, the absence of 'cozy' (pun intended) moments in noir.

Dorte H sagde ...

Nice to meet you, Marco.
I am glad that you and Bernd take up the discussion. As you may have seen in my comment to Søren above, I agree that if the rules were less rigid, you would find some men writing femikrimi and women writing machokrimi :) - which in my opinion makes sense in a modern world.
And I am glad you have taken the time to split the noir genre up in these very useful sub-categories. I won´t excuse that I haven´t read many of them (just say that I usually don´t like radical femikrimi either), but I know Val MacDermid and have read several of Rankin´s.