Join 3,418 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


påske-krim
November 20, 2011 7:37 PM   Subscribe

How do you write crime fiction in the wake of a massacre? The mass slaughter on Utøya in July shook Norway to its core. Now the country's crime writers must come to terms with what happened…
posted by infini (16 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Change some names, make up some others, change gun calibers and car makes. It's one step beyond plagiarism, really.
posted by Renoroc at 7:45 PM on November 20, 2011


TVTropes: "Too Soon"
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:57 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


In describing how wonderfully safe Oslo's streets are, the author must have missed the wave of rapes that's afflicted the city recently. (Yeah, yeah, the level of violent crime is nowhere near truely crime-ridden cities, but a piece about the shattering of illusions of safety ought to take note that the capital has become significantly less safe recently.) Whoever is behind these assaults, immigrants are getting the blame, which will only serve to fuel further racism.
posted by simen at 9:00 PM on November 20, 2011


Is this report correct?
posted by jeffburdges at 11:04 PM on November 20, 2011


I find the Oslo rape hype interesting. If the (muslim) immigrants can no longer be terrorists, they can at least be dirty rapists. One wonders what the next racially laden media hype will be. My money's on vampires.
posted by klue at 11:22 PM on November 20, 2011


I find the Oslo rape hype interesting.

I find the information apparently provided by the victims to be interesting. Is there a view that they or the police are lying?
posted by ambient2 at 1:07 AM on November 21, 2011


jeffburdges: "Is this report correct"

They are saying that all "assault-rapes" in the last five years where the perpetrator was identified was committed by a man of foreign ("non-western") origin. "Assault-rape" is my loose translation of the term "overfallsvoldtekt", which basically describes the situation where the perpetrator and the victim are not previously known to each other, and the victim is assaulted randomly and raped either involving violence or the threat of violence.

It's probably interesting to look at the real numbers here, though. There have been 86 reported "assault-rapes" between 2006 and 2010, of which 83 were committed by a man described as being of "non-western" appearance. The other 3 had no description of the perpetrator.

So while these statistics are troubling, date rape and other rapes where the perpetrator and the victim know each other previously are probably (as in most countries) far more common (I was unable to find comparable stats in my brief search). Also, a little over 16 of these rapes per year, while obviously too high, doesn't really seem to be an epidemic, or anything to draw general conclusions from.

Oh, and that YouTube video is by some fundie preacher. FYI.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:17 AM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's one step beyond plagiarism, really.

Renoroc, did you read the article? Part of it focuses on the fact that eerily similar incidents were presented fictionally in Norwegian crime novels before the tragedy.
Dahl is among the many Norwegian writers who have explored the neo-Nazi threat, in his case in a book entitled The Man in the Window. Even the hugely popular Jo Nesbø, whose recent biggest sellers have been apolitical tales of freakish serial killers, employed the neo-Nazi trope in one of his earlier novels, The Redbreast, in which a racist thug makes a speech berating Europe for abandoning national socialism and allowing mass immigration. "They let the enemy build mosques in our midst, let them rob our old folk and mingle blood with our women," says the white supremacist of the Norwegian political class.
and
"Crime fiction is probably the No 1 genre when it comes to reflecting society," says Holt. "Before this happened I would have sworn that it was physically impossible, first to let off a bomb and then to go out there and shoot all these kids. Now we know that someone from Norway can do it. I didn't dare have someone from Norway [committing the killings] in Fear Not. I had a discussion with my editor and I said: 'What if I made this [homicidal bigoted religious sect] a Norwegian organisation?' And she said: 'No, nobody will believe that. You have to make it American because they do have organisations like that.' Now in retrospect I can say I regret the fact that I didn't."
So this is not at all about fictionalizing the actual event after the fact, but pointing that there was a feeling before 22/7 that such a scenario (and other fictional mayhem) was entertaining but felt wildly unrealistic for seemingly serene Norway, yet many crime novelists had imagined such a threat. Anyway, I enjoy Scandinavian crime fiction, and found this quote from Anne Holt incisive: We don't write whodunnit books, but why did it happen [books].

She also says, "We will be waiting many years before we get the ultimate 22/7 novel... And it's not going to be a crime fiction novel. It will be something else." I feel sure she's right.
posted by taz at 1:27 AM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, yes, found some statistics, actually the Oslo Police Precinct report that's being discussed in that video. There's a PDF in Norwegian.

"Assault-rapes" were 12.9% of total reported rapes in Oslo in 2010. 33.3% were "party-related", where the rape is reported after meeting the perpetrator at a party or bar, etc. 25.3% were relationship rapes, rapes where the perpetrator is a relationship partner or ex partner. 20.4% were "vulnerability rapes", where the victim is victimized at least in part as a result of being in a vulnerable situation, for instance drug addicts being raped by drug dealers, or prostitutes raped by johns.

Also, in 2010, 132 rapes or attempted rapes were committed by men of Norwegian ethnicity, while 54 were committed by men of non-Norwegian ethnicity (the report does not separate out "non-western"). In 2007 it was 143 Norwegian, 53 non-Norwegian, and in 2004, 98 Norwegian and 51 non-Norwegian.

So, if Oslo's immigrant or "non-western" population increased from 2004 to 2010, "non-western" males were actually less likely to rape in 2010 than in 2004.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:37 AM on November 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't know what's more irritating: the Martin Amisesque self absorbed soul searching about the role of the (crime) novelist in the face of impersonal tragedy or the fact that the comment thread on it is almost immediately derailed by somebody posting that old, debunked myth about how everybody in Oslo is in danger of being raped by "non-western immigrants".
posted by MartinWisse at 3:30 AM on November 21, 2011


immediately derailed by somebody posting that old, debunked myth about how everybody in Oslo is in danger of being raped by "non-western immigrants"

It has become a massive topic in Norway again recently, lots of public discussion and new policing strategies etc being proposed, but I agree it is an odd derail.
posted by knapah at 6:52 AM on November 21, 2011


Crime may not be as prevalent in Norway as elsewhere, but the crime they have is thumpingly weird. Murderous Black Metal wackjobs. nationalist mass murderers who look like catalog models and outlaw bikers out the wazoo. Dosen't anyone just rob liquor stores there, or what?
posted by jonmc at 7:17 AM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crime may not be as prevalent in Norway as elsewhere, but the crime they have is thumpingly weird. Murderous Black Metal wackjobs. nationalist mass murderers who look like catalog models and outlaw bikers out the wazoo. Dosen't anyone just rob liquor stores there, or what?

I laughed first, but you know, I can actually make a serious point! *gasp*

All those crimes happen in the US and other states as well but, in Norway, where poverty rates are so much lower and there is much less inequality, there is less chance of someone engaging in 'ordinary' crime for cash. The societal pressures aren't as strong, so the likelihood is that if you are going to commit a crime, then you're probably an outlier on the social spectrum - a neo-nazi, black metal wackjob, outlaw biker or all of the above. Interesting.
posted by knapah at 7:38 AM on November 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


outlaw biker or all of the above. Interesting.

Outlaw bikers generally commit crimes for money, actually. But it's interesting that even the nation's organized crime is different from elsewhere.
posted by jonmc at 8:47 AM on November 21, 2011


Since this is the closest we have to an open Norway thread, and its yet another aspect of the current inability to talk about things

Apartheid row at Norwegian school after it segregates ethnic pupils
A political row has broken out in Norway after a secondary school segregated students with ethnic backgrounds in classes away from white Norwegians.

posted by infini at 6:59 PM on November 28, 2011


Anders Behring Breivik has been clinically diagnosed as insane. He will probably then be detained into psychiatric care rather than the normal prison system.

A statement from the victims' lawyer before the diagnosis said:

"And if the outcome is criminally sane or insane, that is, first and foremost a psychiatric question. The most important thing in our clients' opinion is that he will not be able to walk the streets."
posted by knapah at 6:47 AM on November 29, 2011


« Older Sociologist Lauren Rivera of Northwestern spent tw...  |  David Frum asks When Did the G... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments