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I. Euronoir

Towards a definition of Mediterranean Noir or Crime in the Mediterranean: Mediterranean noir or Mediterranean crime fiction?

Barbara Pezzotti

Résumé

This article argues that Mediterranean crime fiction is not simply a subgenre that showcases criminal organisations and beautiful landscapes, but also a formulation that overcomes the exclusionary European borders, and makes the “parent” label Euronoir more inclusive. In order to prove this point, this article analyses Andrea Camilleri’s Il ladro di merendine (1996) and Jean Claude Izzo’s Total Khéops (1996) through the lens of transculturality (Welsch) and the idea of “third space” (Bhabha). It shows how, with their reference to a common Mediterranean culture and history, these novels shape transcultural spaces where human beings coexist and adapt to each other. Both novels make use of the concept of “homecoming” as a counter-narrative for the present anti-immigration rhetoric, and represent the Mediterranean as a Mare Nostrum which, according to Paolo Rumiz’s formulation, is a space shared by those who inhabit it, where inhabiting does not necessarily coincide with belonging or possession1. In doing so, Il ladro di merendine and Total Khéops represent Mediterranean cities as places where the encounter supersides conflict, overcoming the exclusionary mechanisms of the nation-state.

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1By intersecting the fields of Mediterranean studies and crime fiction studies, in this article I introduce a new reading of Mediterranean crime fiction that highlights unity over divisions, violence and discrimination. I argue that with their reference to a common Mediterranean culture and history (and the concept of homecoming as a counter-narrative for the present anti-immigration rhetoric), crime novels set in the Mediterranean area shape a transcultural space where human beings coexist and adapt to each other. By creating transcultural urban spaces, these novels are representative of a crime fiction that is not merely set in the Mediterranean area, but epitomizes the “uprooted geography” of Mediterranean hybridity.

  • 2 For example, Andrea Camilleri sold more than 30 million books worldwide. They were translated into (...)
  • 3 Dimitroulia, 2018, p. 816.
  • 4 Markaris, 2005, p. 42.
  • 5 Barbara Pezzotti, « Conversation on a New Sicily: Interview with Andrea Camilleri », Storytelling: (...)

2Mediterranean crime fiction has become popular within Europe since the 1990s due to the success of writers such as Andrea Camilleri, Jean Claude Izzo, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán and Petros Markaris. Thanks to the indefatigable work of specialised publishing houses, such as Europa Editions, Bitter Lemon, City Lights and Toby Crime, just to name a few of them, Mediterranean writers’ novels have also reached American readers, who are typically more reluctant to read in translation. Crime writers from the Mediterranean basin have sold millions of books, had their works translated into many languages and also made an impact through influential reviews of their novels and receipt of literary prizes2. These writers also work and operate within a network of reciprocal influences: in the 1990s, a new wave of French and Italian crime fiction in translation vigorously entered the Greek literary scene. A new generation of writers associated crime fiction with the current social and political situation in Greece and wrote politically engaged crime stories, de facto importing the Mediterranean noir into Greece3. Spanish crime fiction was also influential: Greek writer Petros Markaris stated that he started writing crime novels because of Vázquez Montalbán4 ; in Italy Andrea Camilleri took inspiration from Jean Claude Izzo’s and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s crime novels to write stories which delved into social and political issues of contemporary Italy. He even named the main protagonist of his series, Inspector Montalbano, after Vázquez Montalbán5. The success of these authors and their reciprocal influence have spurred publishing houses to use the term “Mediterranean noir” to advertise, not only Camilleri’s, Vázquez Montalbán’s and Izzo’s novels, but a wide range of crime novels set in the Mediterranean area. In particular, in a popular essay, the founder of Europa Editions Sandro Ferri argues that Mediterranean noir is a literature that highlights political and ethnic conflicts, and organised crime. For Ferri, the difference between the Mediterranean and other declinations of noir, such as American noir, is to be found manly in the landscape:

  • 6 Sandro Ferri, « Towards a History of Mediterranean Noir », CrimeReads [en ligne], traduit de l’ital (...)

The Mediterranean noir novel, therefore, represents a search for truth in places characterized by violence, but also by beauty. While these novels offer us a vision of the dark side, the underbelly of society, their settings are invariable places that are caressed by bright sunshine, by blue skies and clear waters6.

  • 7 Pezzotti 2021, 98.

3A marketing campaign has been able to create a shared imaginary of the Southern Mediterranean as a land of passion, violence and beauty, give it an independent space within the “family” of Euronoir, and make it a globally shared literature, in line with what has happened with Nordic noir, albeit with less commercial success7. While the popular success of Mediterranean noir is indisputable, some important questions still need to be addressed, and specifically whether Mediterranean crime fiction possesses a specific cultural significance, and whether its contribution to Euronoir goes beyond a somewhat stereotypical image of a sunny and violent south as opposed to a gloomy and equally violent north.

Mediterranean crime fiction and Euronoir

  • 8 David Barba, « La novela negra mediterránea », in Primer encuentro europeo de novela negra. Homenaj (...)
  • 9 Germán Cánovas, « La novela negra mediterránea. Los placeres del desencanto », Quimera, vol. 259-26 (...)
  • 10 Gabriella Turnaturi, « The Mediterranean Noir », in Graziella Parati (éd.), New Perspectives in Ita (...)
  • 11 Alberto Zambenedetti, « Mean Streets and Bloody Shores: Toward a Spatial Theory of the Mediterranea (...)

4Building on Ferri’s definition of Mediterranean noir, David Barba argues that Mediterranean crime fiction showcases the humanity of the peoples living in cities open to the sea and characterised by public spaces8. Germán Cánovas adds that Mediterranean crime fiction is characterised by a constant presence of food and its consumption9. Gabriella Turnaturi argues for the importance to “deconstruct the stereotypes and the representations that surround and at the same time identify a certain lifestyle as ‘Mediterranean10’”. Alberto Zambenedetti also considers the label Mediterranean noir as an attempt to establish “connections that extended beyond individual national traditions while also questioning the efficiency of descriptors such as ‘national’ to accurately represent cultural artefact borne out of mobile, flexible, even nomadic identities11”.

  • 12 Claudio Fogu, The Fishing Net and the Spider Web: Mediterranean Imaginaries and the Making of Itali (...)

5These arguments are important steps towards analysing this literary phenomenon. However, by keeping to the fore the term “noir”– a model characterised by blurring boundaries between good and evil and an elusive re-establishment of social order at the end of the narrative –, the investigations into this literary phenomenon end up by being limited in their scopes, insofar as they leave aside relevant novels that belong to different crime fiction subgenres, such as whodunnit, hard-boiled novels, and police procedurals. Moreover, by accepting that the term “Mediterranean” has been given a vague geographical meaning – that is any novel which is set in any Southern European city –, they also water down the importance of the term “Mediterranean” in its specifically geographical and cultural meaning, in this label. As Fogu argues for Italy, the Italian “Southern Question”, that is the coexistence of an industrialised north side by side with an underdeveloped south, was, from the beginning and until today, a “Mediterranean Question12”. Concentrating on stories set in Southern France, Spain and Italy, for example, means recognising the special relations that these parts of Europe have with the Mediterranean basin, which often pair with their troubled relationship with their central governments or the northern regions of their country, considered as an expression of wider European interests.

  • 13 Kim Toft Hansen, Steven Peacock, Sue Turnbull (éd.), European Television Crime Drama and Beyond, Lo (...)
  • 14 Stewart King, Jesper Gulddal, Alistair Rolls (éd.), Cambridge Companion of Crime Fiction as World L (...)

6In the following I propose that opening up the analysis to crime fiction at large, rather than just noir, but at the same time narrowing the focus on the Mediterranean shores, allows crime fiction scholarship to better construct a profile of the Mediterranean crime novel within the wider family of the Euronoir. Analysing European television crime drama, Hansen, Peacock and Turnbull argue that Euronoir is a cross-cultural phenomenon, and that a number of international dramas display Europeanness13. However, as Gulddal and King argue, the focus on Europe may reproduce the exclusionary mechanisms of the nation-state at the continental level. In other words, it may overcome nationalism only at the cost of fostering a European “continentalism”, which might be seen as “an attempt to resurrect outmoded Eurocentric conceptions of the literary field14.” By sitting within the European continent, but also acknowledging the network of cultural influences that connects both shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean crime fiction is a formulation that overcomes the European borders, making the “parent” label Euronoir more inclusive. As Izzo argues in Garlic, Mint and Sweet Basil (2013):

  • 15 Jean-Claude Izzo, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil. Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine and Noir (...)

The Mediterranean crime novel is the fatalistic acceptance of this drama that has hung over us ever since man killed his brother on one of the shores of this sea. Individual tragedy is echoed in the collective tragedy of the Balkans and Algeria, where the same dark blood flows. Faced with these conflicts which have punctuated the history of the Mediterranean, artists have tirelessly responded with their passion for the sea that unites15.

7As one can see from this excerpt, Izzo also sees the origin of Mediterranean crime fiction in the ancient Mediterranean world and its culture and acknowledges the violent history of this area. However, he also highlights a cultural trend: a focus on unity on both shores of the Mediterranean in response to violence, and expressed in the artistic field.

  • 16 Fernand Braudel, On History, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1980.
  • 17 Ian Chambers, Mediterranean Crossings. The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity, Durham, NC, Duke U (...)
  • 18 Amin Maalouf, « Construire la Méditerrannée », in Michel Le Bris, Jean Claude Izzo (éd.), Méditerra (...)
  • 19 Paolo Rumiz, È oriente, Milan, Feltrinelli, 2005, p. 136.

8This reference to unity is something that needs to be further explored if one wants to analyse what Mediterranean crime fiction is. The use of Mediterranean studies scholarship can be particularly relevant in this respect. Originally, the name Mare nostrum claimed the immense body of water of this sea, and its shores and trade, for Rome; and this term symbolised the vastness and power of the Roman Empire. The field of Mediterranean studies has challenged this long-standing Eurocentric definition of the Mediterranean. Fernand Braudel’s conception of the Mediterranean as a physical and human unity16 has offered a critical stimulus for scholarly inquiry and still influences the debate today. For Ian Chambers, the word Mediterranean “immediately evokes the movement of peoples, histories and cultures that underlines the continual sense of historical transformation and cultural translation which makes it a site of perpetual transit17”. According to Amin Maalouf, Mediterranean identity is not an exclusionary, but rather an inclusive concept that puts together East and West as well as Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions18. Therefore, according to Paolo Rumiz, the Latin expression needs to be interpreted as the sea shared by those who inhabit it, where inhabiting does not necessarily coincide with belonging19. These arguments bring forward an idea of the Mediterranean as a contemporary, diversified and transcultural space, as opposed to the coercive exclusion of the “other” which is the key mechanism by which the sovereignty of the nation-state is formulated today.

  • 20 This article is part of a wider project in which I analyse the representation of illegal immigratio (...)

9There are several examples of Mediterranean hybridity in Italian, French, Greek, Spanish, Algerian and Moroccan crime fiction20. In this article my analysis will concentrate in particular on two detective novels set in Mediterranean cities, where place has a particularly relevant role in the narrative construction of a Mediterranean identity: Andrea Camilleri’s Il ladro di merendine (1996, translated in English as The Snack Thief, 2003) and Jean Claude Izzo’s Total Khéops (1996, translated as Total Chaos, 2006).

10

The Mediterranean as an inclusive space

  • 21 Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda, Barbara Pezzotti (éd.), The Foreign in International Crime Fiction (...)

11Considering Mediterranean crime fiction as a literature of inclusion may seem counter-intuitive. Crime fiction per se is often accused of being violent, misogynistic and racist. Undoubtedly, due to its very nature, crime fiction as a genre lends itself to representing conflicts, asymmetrical relations of power, crisis and violence21. Likewise, crime fiction set in Mediterranean cities, as Ferri argues, often highlights ethnical conflicts, violence and organised crime. However, a new and very successful wave of crime fiction set along the Mediterranean has tackled the topic of identity in the face of the growing presence of foreign migrants. The focus has increasingly shifted from an orientalising gaze towards the “foreign” to a multicultural or transcultural representation of migrant communities that populate the urban landscape. By analysing Camilleri’s and Izzo’s novels, I travel back in time to the 1990s, a period when both in France and in Italy anti-immigration rhetoric was already rampant: in France the National Front Party was a major force of French nationalism; in Italy the Northern League was moving from an anti-South to an anti-immigration narrative. Camilleri and Izzo shared a vision of crime fiction as a watchdog for society and politics of the time. Place and locality play an important role in their stories, and they both engage with local culture and immigration. They also present a few differences: Izzo’s novels are more in the hard-boiled tradition of crime fiction compared to Camilleri’s novels, which could rather be described as a mix of whodunit and police procedural. Izzo’s novels are characterised by a distrust towards the police force, which is often portrayed as racist and corrupt, while in Camilleri’s novels Montalbano and his team are everyday heroes who fight crime in a turbulent area of Italy. Because of its hard-boiled inspiration, Izzo’s trilogy comes through as more pessimistic than Camilleri’s series and lacks the sense of humor that makes Montalbano adventures a more palatable and reassuring reading. Finally, Izzo’s trilogy is set in a real city, Marseille, while Montalbano adventures take place in an imaginary Sicilian coastal town, Vigàta. Despite these differences, both authors represent the Mediterranean area as a profoundly transcultural reality.

Case study 1: Camilleri’s transcultural Vigàta

  • 22 Novelli, 89.
  • 23 Maurizio Clausi, I luoghi di Montalbano, Palermo, Sellerio, 2006.
  • 24 Barbara Pezzotti, The Importance of Place in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction: A Bloody Journey, (...)
  • 25 Sandro Ferri, « Towards a History of Mediterranean Noir », CrimeReads [en ligne], traduit de l’ital (...)

12Camilleri is deemed to be the most popular contemporary Italian writer in the world, with an estimated 20 million books sold worldwide and translations – in addition to the most common languages – in Greek, Norwegian, Japanese, among others22. Part of the incredible success of his highly entertaining series – which amounts to 28 novels and several collections of short stories – is due to Inspector Montalbano, a grumpy detective, and a lover of good food and the sea. The series’ popularity is also due to the setting, the fictional seaside village of Vigàta. Overcoming a consolidated “urban” tradition in Italian crime fiction, with its strong connection with real Italian cities, such as Milan and Bologna, Montalbano’s investigations mostly take place in a fictional town in an imaginary province, Montelusa, set within a real geography, the island of Sicily. By frequently mentioning invented places and situations, Camilleri has been able to create a “world” that has captured readers’ imagination: a touristic guide to Camilleri’s world has been published23 and the municipality of Porto Empedocle (Camilleri’s hometown) decided to change its name into Porto Empedocle-Vigàta. Vigàta is a fascinating representation of an evolving Sicily, caught between past and modernity and revealing a Sicilian identity in flux, which includes both regional and national characteristics24. It may also be argued that in The Snack Thief Vigàta is symbolic of the whole of Sicily, meant as an area with fluid borders that hosts a transcultural Mediterranean identity. In contrast to Ferri’s view on the Mediterranean crime fiction’s landscape, Vigàta is not an idyllic place “caressed by bright sunshine, by blue skies and clear waters25”. It is rather a Southern town that suffers from crowded roads, unauthorised buildings and polluted rivers. Even Montalbano’s favorite places, such as Marinella’s beach where his house is located, are often cluttered with used bottles, plastic bags, and rubbish. Montalbano constantly needs to negotiate between the original beauty of his town and the evils of modernity in his everyday life. Montalbano is also confronted with the consequences of illegal migration to the Sicilian shores.

  • 26 Corrado Giustiniani, Fratellastri d’Italia, Bari, Laterza, 2003, p. 78-108; Alessandro Dal Lago, No (...)

13Due to Italy’s geographical position and close proximity to the North African coast, the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea has historically been one of the most used routes for undocumented migrants reaching the peninsula. This route has become gradually more prominent as political turmoil in Libya caused a general weakening of borders and coastal control, opening opportunities to people smuggling organisations. One of the most common destinations for sea crossings are the southernmost Italian territories, and Sicily and its islands in particular. The Snack Thief is set before the asylum seekers emergency of 2010, and on the eve of the anti-immigration laws introduced by the Berlusconi Government in 2002, which, among other things, strengthened deportation rules and made compulsory for migrants to provide their fingerprints in order to obtain their residence permit. These are also the years in which anti-immigration rhetoric was at the centre of the political agenda for the first time. Immigrants were perceived as being engaged in criminal activities such as drug-pushing, prostitution and petty crime26. This situation, which applied especially in large cities, led a part of the population to have intolerant attitudes towards immigrants, fuelled and exploited by the Northern League party, which gradually moved from an anti-Southern Italy agenda to a more successful nationalist and xenophobic policy. In this political climate, Camilleri started writing his Montalbano series.

  • 27 Chiara Mazzucchelli, « Roots and Routes: Immigration in Andrea Camilleri’s Montalbano Series », Ita (...)
  • 28 Elgin Eckhert, « Andrea Camilleri: The Author as Public Intellectual », Italica, vol. 91, n° 4, 201 (...)
  • 29 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, Palermo, Sellerio, 1996, p. 36; The Snack Thief, London, P (...)

14Camilleri has shown a sustained interest in regard to immigration and integration throughout the Montalbano series27. Eckert has identified Il giro di boa (2003, translated as Rounding the Mark, 2006) as the novel where Camilleri tackles more decisively the issue of foreign immigration to Italy28. However, references to the Mediterranean history and culture are present as early as in Il cane di terracotta (1996, translated as The Terracotta Dog, 2004) and The Snack Thief and are subsequently at the centre of the narrative in Rounding the Mark and L’altro capo del filo (2016, translated as The Other End of the Line, 2019) where the Sicilian author tackles directly the topical issue of the illegal migrant emergency on the Italian coasts. In The Snack Thief, the investigation revolves around two cases: in the first one, an elderly man is stabbed to death in an elevator and his maid, the Tunisian Karima disappears; in the second one, a Tunisian crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is machine-gunned by a Tunisian patrol boat off Sicily’s coast. Inspector Montalbano’s life is endangered when he finds out that these apparently unrelated cases are instead connected. Ultimately his investigation unveils government corruption and international intrigue. Initially, Montalbano is reluctant to be involved in the investigation about the murder of the Tunisian sailor: “‘Non vedo cosa c’entriamo noi, il nostro governo, se i tunisini ammazzano un tunisino’” (“I don’t see why it should be of any concern to us or our government if some Tunisians kill a Tunisian”)29. However, this insular attitude changes as the inspector gradually realizes that the case involves the Italian and Tunisian governments and their respective police forces and secret services. More interestingly, the detective’s identification with a national (and especially regional) space is challenged during the investigation. In particular, the enquiry allows Inspector Montalbano, a proud Sicilian, to interact with Tunisian characters and to appreciate for the first time the deep transcultural roots of his homeland.

  • 30 Wolfgang Welsch, « The Changing Form of Cultures Today », Filozofski vestnik, vol. 22, n° 2, 2001, (...)

15According to Welsch, transculturality overhauls both the traditional concept of a single, homogeneous culture bound to a specific nation-state and more recent concepts like interculturality and multiculturality, which account for the existence of different cultures, but not for their reciprocal influences, ultimately carrying on the idea that each culture is in itself a homogeneous and separate sphere30. The tendency towards transculturality does not mean that our cultural formation is becoming the same all over the world. On the contrary, processes of globalisation and becoming transcultural imply a great variety of differentiation. Montalbano’s world is deeply transcultural: the tone is set in the novel when, while describing a suburb of fictional Montelusa, the narrator pictures Arab immigrants not as foreigners, but as people who simply came back home after hundreds of years:

  • 31 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, op. cit., p. 96-97.

All’èbica dei musulmani in Sicilia, quando Montelusa si chiamava Kerkent, gli arabi avevano fabbricato alla periferia del paìsi un quartiere dove stavano tra di loro. Quando i musulmani se n’erano scappati sconfitti, nelle loro case c’erano andati ad abitare i montelusani e il nome del quartiere era stato sicilianizzato in Rabàtu. Nella seconda metà di questo secolo una gigantesca frana l’aveva inghiottito. Le poche case rimaste in piedi erano lesionate, sbilenche, si tenevano in equilibri assurdi. Gli arabi, tornati questa volta in veste di povirazzi, ci avevano ripreso ad abitare, mettendo al posto delle tegole pezzi di lamiera e in luogo delle pareti tramezzi di cartone31.

  • 32 Andrea Camilleri, The Snack Thief, op. cit., p. 107.

At the time of the Muslim domination of Sicily, when Montelusa was called Kerkent, the Arabs built a district on the outskirts of town, where they lived amongst themselves. When the Muslim later fled in defeat, the Montelusians moved into their homes and the names of the street was Sicilianized into Rabàtu. In the second half of the twentieth century, a tremendous landslide swallowed it up. The few houses left standing were damaged and lopsided, remaining upright by absurd feats of equilibrium. When they returned, this time as paupers, the Arabs moved back into that part of town, replacing the roof tiles with sheet metal and using partitions of heavy cardboard for walls32.

  • 33 Ian Chambers, Mediterranean Crossings. The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity, op. cit., p. 32.
  • 34 Amin Maalouf, « Construire la Méditerrannée », art. cit., p. 90.
  • 35 Jean Anderson, et. al. (éd.), The Foreign in International Crime Fiction: Transcultural Representat (...)

16The reference here is to the Arabic domination of Sicily between 831 and 1091 on the one hand, and the first waves of migration from Northern Africa to Italy, on the other, when anti-immigration started to be an issue in the national consciousness. Interestingly, in this passage Arab migrants are described not as foreigners or invaders, but as people who “returned”, that is who came back home. This description endorses an idea of the Mediterranean as a place of “perpetual transit33” and Mediterranean identity as “inclusive34”. In The Snack Thief Montalbano meets again Master Rahman, a teacher from Tunisia, a character first introduced in The Terracotta Dog. In both novels Master Rahman is described as an integrated and highly educated character, and he does not play the stereotypical role of the foreign villain or the helpless victim. Escaping the destiny of foreign characters in much crime fiction35, Rahman, is instead an integrated member of the community and an active participant in the enquiry. Finally, in both novels, the teacher’s knowledge of the community of the seaside village of Mazara del Vallo is vital for the investigation. In The Terracotta Dog, Rahman explains to Montalbano the reasons for the pacific coexistence of Mazarese and Arabs:

  • 36 Andrea Camilleri, Il cane di terracotta, Palermo, Sellerio, 1994, p. 223.

“Siamo di casa, Al-Imam al-Mazari, il fondatore della scuola giuridica maghrebina, è nato a Mazara, così come il filologo Ibn al-Birr che venne espulso dalla città nel 1068 perché gli piaceva troppo il vino. Il fatto sostanziale è però che i mazaresi sono gente di mare. E l’uomo di mare ha molto buonsenso, capisce cosa significa tenere i piedi per terra. A proposito di mare: lo sa che i motopescherecci di qua hanno equipaggio misto, siciliani e tunisini36 ?”

  • 37 Andrea Camilleri, The Terracotta Dog, London, Picador, 2002, p. 268.

“We’re family. Al-Imam al-Mazari, the founder of the Maghrebin juridical school, was born in Mazara, as was the philologist Ibn al-Birr, who was expelled from the city in 1068 because he liked wine too much. But the basic fact is that the Mazarese are seafaring people. And the man of the sea has a great deal of common sense; he understands what it means to have one’s feet on the ground. And speaking of the sea – did you know that the motor trawlers around here have mixed crews, half Sicilians half Tunisians37 ?”

  • 38 Jessica Trevitt, « Fluid Borders: Translational Readings of Transnational Literature », The AALTRA (...)

17As we can see from this passage, the sea – which holds the potential to act as a borderline – resists this role: its fluid borders – using an expression coined by Trevitt38 – are embodied by the mixed crew in the Sicilian fishing boats. The use of the word “family”, or, rather, “home” (“siamo di casa” that is “we are at home” in the original Italian) highlights once again the idea of a mutual history and culture between Sicilians and Arabs.

18The idea of the sea as something that unites rather than separates was reiterated by Camilleri several times during his interviews and in contributions to the press. For example, in a 2018 interview, Camilleri commented that Matteo Salvini, leader of the Northern League and then Minister of the Interior, inaugurated a policy of closing ports because “è un uomo di terra, non conosce il mare” (“he is a mainlander, and he doesn’t know the sea”) and for this reason he did not show sympathy towards people who crossed the Mediterranaen Sea on illegal boats. On that occasion, Camilleri stressed the importance of the “law of the sea” that requires conducting a rescue at sea for people in distress.

  • 39 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, op. cit., p. 69; The Snack Thief, op. cit., p. 73.
  • 40 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, op. cit., p. 155; The Snack Thief, op. cit., p. 177.
  • 41 Jana Vizmuller-Zocco, « I test della (im) popolarità: Il fenomeno Camilleri », Quaderni d’Italianis (...)
  • 42 Simona Demontis, I colori della letteratura. Un’indagine sul caso Camilleri, Milan, Rizzoli, 2001, (...)
  • 43 Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, London & New York, Routledge, 1994, p. 7.

19In addition to the help of Rahman, in The Snack Thief the encounters between the detective and various other characters reinforce the idea of “fluid borders” and familiarity between Italian and Tunisian cultures and histories. This happens when Montalbano interviews a Tunisian witness, and Montalbano gets the help of an interpreter: “Buscaìno, l’agente che sapeva l’arabo perché in Tunisia ci era nato e vissuto fino a quindici anni” (“Buscaino, the officer who knew Arabic because he was born and raised in Tunisia up to the age of fifteen”)39. Buscaino personifies the cultural exchange in the Mediterranean, being both versed in Italian and Arabic and having lived both in Tunisia and in Italy. Later on in the investigation, all barriers are overcome. This happens when Montalbano meets and befriends François, Karima’s child. United by a tragic destiny (Montalbano also lost his mother when he was a child), one night, on the beach “E iniziarono a parlare, il commissario in siciliano e François in arabo, capendosi perfettamente” (“[they] started talking, the inspector in Sicilian and the boy in Arabic, and they understood each other perfectly”)40. Here Montalbano does not even need an interpreter, as what François says is perfectly clear to him. Interestingly, in the language of the Montalbano series, a mix of standard Italian, Sicilian dialect and completely invented words, plays an important role in creating the Vigàta world. According to Vizmuller-Zocco, Camilleri performs a vital literary operation that places the official Italian language and the Sicilian dialect on the same level and gives the latter a literary dignity that mainstream scholarship still deny41. Demontis argues that a new language was necessary to describe the essence of Vigàta42. It can also be argued that a new language was necessary to describe an evolving Sicily, such as the Sicily represented in Camilleri’s series. In The Snack Thief this inclusive language, a mix of standard and regional culture, also becomes a language of encounter as well, as Arabic is a language of exchange. Equally important, in this novel, liminal spaces such as the sea and the beach become transcultural places, or, using Bhabha’s words, third spaces “from which something begins43”. It is not by chance that at the end of the investigation the inspector decides to adopt François. Ultimately, in this novel Montalbano crosses figurative borders by embracing a new Mediterranean identity.

20With this novel, Camilleri exposes the anti-immigration rhetoric as a political construction that aims at diverting the public’s attention from the inability of right-wing governments to solve Italy’s economic issues. In spite of referring to the 1990s and the Berlusconi government, The Snack Thief remains a powerful political and social manifesto in front of the renewed xenophobic political climate present all over Europe. More importantly, it is a powerful illustration of a shared culture and identity within the Mediterranean.

Case study 2: Izzo’s hybrid Marseille

21The second novel I will analyse is Jean-Claude Izzo’s Total Chaos. Izzo (1945-2000) was a French poet, novelist, editor of collections of essays, and organiser of conferences on Marseille and the Mediterranean. His career as a novelist had a late start, but Izzo achieved sudden fame in the mid-1990s with the publication of a trilogy set in Marseille – which also includes Chourmo (1996, translated into English as Chourmo, 2006) and Solea (1998, translated into English as Solea, 2007) – with Fabio Montale as the protagonist. In Total Chaos, Fabio Montale, a former enlisted soldier in the colonial army and a Marseille police detective, sees his two closest childhood friends die one after the other in violent circumstances. Montale tries to understand what happened and gradually discovers a tangle of interests and power struggles within the Marseille underworld and the police.

  • 44 Fabrice Leroy, « Resignifying the French City: Jean-Claude Izzo’s “Hardboiled” Marseille », The Ima (...)
  • 45 David Platten, « “Polar Village”. The French Roman Noir beyond the City Walls », Romance Studies, v (...)

22In the vein of a hard-boiled novel, Izzo’s story portrays a violent urban environment prey to a racist and corrupt police force. Leroy argues that Izzo’s novel reflects the “complex reality of French immigration” in a novel where “Montale uncovers […] the generalized corruption of the city, where the mafia, the far-right Front National Party, the police and the judicial system all conspire against Arab immigrants, caught in a web of poverty, unemployment, and racism44”. Violence and discrimination are important elements in Izzo’s novel, but they are mixed with a profound love for Marseille. David Platten rightly points out that “Izzo sustains a bi-focal perspective on Marseilles throughout the trilogy45”, by describing a vicious urban environment as well as fascinating Mediterranean city. However, I argue, what prevails in Izzo’s novel, is the representation of Marseille as a transcultural place, in spite of violence and despair.

  • 46 Miriam Saward, « Identity and Place in Jean-Claude Izzo’s Total Khéops », AJFS, vol. 49, n° 3, 2012 (...)
  • 47 Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops (1995), in La Trilogie Fabio Montale, Paris, Gallimard, 2006, pp. 51 (...)
  • 48 Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops, op. cit., p. 122; Total Chaos, op. cit., p. 78.

23As with Camilleri’s series, a strong regional identity is expressed in the novel through the use of place names, character names, reference to food and wine of the region, intertextual references and vocabulary typical – in this case – of Provence and Marseille, in particular. However, as Saward argues, Total Chaos does not express closed regionalism, as in the novel the real essence of Marseille, in spite of the Front National Party, lies in plurality and hybridity46. The protagonist, Fabio Montale, is the son of Italian immigrants and was born and brought up in the city’s poorest pre-Second World War central district, Le Panier. Many ethnic backgrounds feature in the novel, reflected in the different ethnic origins of the various characters: Algerian, Greek, Armenian, Spanish. Like in the case of Montalbano’s adventure, the detective discovers or, rather, rediscovers Marseille’s hybrid identity thanks to the investigation. In Total Chaos, moving across the city, and haunting streets and locales, Fabio Montale finally realizes that in the city the desire to mix and celebrate life overcomes divisions and violence47. In the series, Marseille is not an idyllic place. Like Camilleri’s Vigàta, Marseille is polluted and its streets are filled with garbage. The series takes place in the years when Marseille’s port was re-developed in the attempt of fighting mounting unemployment in the city. In the novels, Izzo openly criticizes the demolition and reconfiguration of the city’s old neighbourhood ̶ causing the replacement of green areas or historical buildings with parking lots – as part of an effort to make Marseille more “efficient”. In spite of this bleak representation of the city ̶ a classic hard-boiled trope ̶ the novel also features several spaces, both private and public, that can be described as “third spaces”. These are venues, such as the Trolleybus, where customers listen to a mix of different music such as rap, techno, rock and reggae music48 ; night clubs, such as the Commanderie, where people from different ethnicities and cultural background socialise – “où se côtoyaient journalistes, flics, avocats et truands” (p. 117) (“journalists, cops, lawyers and gangsters rubbed shoulders” [p. 74]); and ethnic restaurants attended by all kinds of Marseillais :

Descendre la rue d’Aubagne, à n’importe quelle heure du jour, était un voyage. Une succession de commerces, de restaurants, comme autant d’escales. Italie, Grèce, Turquie, Liban, Madagascar, La Réunion, Thaïlande, Viêt-nam, Afrique, Maroc, Tunisie, Algérie. Avec en prime, Arax, la meilleure boutique de loukoums. (p. 124)

Walking down Rue d’Aubagne at any hour of the day was like going on a journey. The stores and restaurants were ports of call. Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Madagascar, Reunion, Thailand, Vietnam, Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria. Most important of all, Arax, which sells the best loukoumi in Marseille. (p. 80)

  • 49 Jean-Claude Izzo, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil. Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine and Noir (...)

24It is at street level that space displays its full potential. In the street of suburban areas children from different cultural backgrounds play together and speak a hybrid combination of French, Marseille dialect, Italian, Spanish and Arabic: “Ça causait déjà un curieux français, mélange de provençal, d’italien, d’espagnol, d’arabe, avec un pointe d’argot et un zeste de verlan. Et les mômes, ils se comprenaient bien avec ça. Dans la rue” (p. 98) (“you already heard a strange kind of French spoken in Marseilles, a mixture of Provençal, Italian, Spanish and Arabic, with bits of slang thrown in. Speaking it, the kids understood each other perfectly well” [p. 56]). Like in Camilleri’s novel, language plays an important role in creating transcultural spaces between locals and young people with different descents. As we can see in this excerpt, this mixed language does not prevent the language from being defined as “French” or the children who speak this language from being French, as well, configuring Marseille, a French city, as a Mediterranean city. Marseille’s ties with the sea are celebrated by Izzo who stated: “And although I may be a French citizen today, the sea – this Mediterranean of ours, on which my eyes, my heart and my thoughts are focused – remains the only place where I feel I exist49”.

25A street-level gaze allows readers to experience the true essence of Marseille, not only in the poor and deprivated northern suburbs such as Belle de Mai, but in the very centre of the city, such as rue Saint-Ferréol, the most famous Marseille’s pedestrian street:

Je m’étais plongé dans le flot des flâneurs. Petits bougeois, cadres, fonctionnaires, immigrés, chômeurs, jeunes, vieux… Dès cinq heures, tout Marseille déambulait dans cette rue. Chacun se côtoyait naturellement, sans agressivité. Marseille était là dans sa vérité. (p. 243)

I’d plunged into the stream of pedestrians. The middle classes, managers, civil servants, immigrants, the unemployed, the young, the old: after five o’clock, the whole of Marseille walked along this street. Everyone rubbed shoulders naturally, unaggressively. This was the true face of Marseille. (p. 192)

  • 50 Stuart Hall, « The Question of Cultural Identity », in Tony McGrew, Stuart Hall, David Held (éd.), (...)
  • 51 Ana Cristina Mendes, « The Liquidscape of Mare Nostrum: Manoel de Oliveira and Bansky’s Mediterrane (...)
  • 52 Stuart Hall, « The Question of Cultural Identity », art. cit., p. 310.
  • 53 Nicholas Hewitt, « Departures and Homecomings: Diaspora in Jean-Claude Izzo’s Marseille », French C (...)

26As we can see from this excerpt, the inter-class and inter-ethnic crowd of rue Saint-Ferréol who walks rubbing shoulders “sans agressivité” personifies, according to the narrator, the real essence of the city. This essence is also expressed in the very face of the younger generations: Les adolescentes qui déambulaient me semblaient plus belles qu’à mon époque. Sur leur visage se lisait le croisement des migrations. Leur histoire. Elle marchaient sûres, et fières, de leur beauté” (p. 243) (“The teenage girls on the street seemed much prettier than the ones I’d known. Their faces were a map of their racial history, and the city’s. They walked with confidence and pride in their beauty” [p. 192]). Here teenage girls show off their beauty, the result of a mix of different races and ethnicity. The pride in the city expressed in this text is seen in its elements of difference and variety, or what Hall calls “cultures of hybridity50”. This characteristic dates back to the ancient times : “ce qui la rendait capitale, c’est qu’elle était un port. Le carrefour de tous les brassages humains. Depuis des siècles. Depuis que Protis avait posé le pied sur la grève. Et épousé la belle Gyptis, princesse ligure” (p. 131) (“what made it [Marseille] a capital was the fact that it was a port. A place where every race on earth mixed, and had done for centuries ever since Protis had set foot on the shore and married the beautiful Ligurian princess Gyptis” [p. 86]). As Mendes argues, in a co-existence of victimhood and threat, in photojournalistic representation of migrants, they are placed “not at the centre […] but as outsiders51”. Girls from Marseille who proudly display their beauty – a result of centuries of ethnic interactions ̶ are at the centre of the narrative in this passage that overcomes the traditional representation of the migrant in mainstream media. If this beauty is a result of centuries of mixing, Marseille is a place where all the different ethnicities around the Mediterranean constantly converge. Indeed, Izzo’s Marseille is a site of what Hall calls “translation”: a “translated” person is an individual who belongs to different worlds at once, as someone who accepts a new homeland without forgetting or denying their origins52. This is in fact an expression of transculturalism: rather than being assimilated to living in isolation, migrants contribute with their own cultures to the culture of the place where they live, creating a Mediterranean identity. From the traditional dystopian representation of late twentieth-century Marseille, built upon the notion of a diasporic population at odds with each other and with the city, Izzo constructs his Marseille whose dominant image is that of homecoming53 :

Une utopie. L’unique utopie du monde. Un lieu où n’importe qui, de n’importe quelle couleur, pouvait descendre d’un bateau, ou d’un train, sa valise à la main, sans un sou en poche, et se fondre dans le flot des autres hommes. Une ville où, à peine le pied posé sur le sol, cet homme pouvait dire : « C’est ici. Je suis chez moi. » Marseille appartient à ceux qui y vivent. (p. 257)

A utopia. The only utopia in the world. A place where anyone, of any color, could get off a boat or a train with his suitcase in his hand and not a cent in his pocket, and melt into the crowd. A city where, as soon as he’d set foot on its soil, this man could say, ‘This is it. I’m home’. Marseilles belongs to the people who live in it. (p. 205)

  • 54 Paolo Rumiz, È oriente, op. cit.

27In Total Chaos, Marseille is celebrated as a transcultural place which is home to the migrant, just as Vigàta and Sicily are home for the returned migrants. It is an expression of the new concept of Mare nostrum formulated by Rumiz54.

Conclusion

  • 55 Ian Chambers, Mediterranean Crossings. The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity, op. cit., p. 68.
  • 56 Jean-Claude Izzo, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil. Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine and Noir (...)
  • 57 Kim Toft Hansen, Steven Peacock, Sue Turnbull (éd.), European Television Crime Drama and Beyond, op (...)

28In conclusion, in spite of their differences in terms of crime fiction subgenre, narrative style and setting, both novels represent the Mediterranean as a Mare Nostrum in its new formulation as a space shared by all those who inhabit it. In other words, the setting of these novels is not merely a question of “colour”, but becomes the very essence of the narrative, the focus being the Mediterranean Sea as a place of interchange and Mediterranean cities as places where the encounter supersides the conflict. Both in The Snack Thief and Total Chaos the Mediterranean area is described as an active crossroad of intercultural transmission55. If the Mediterranean is a common space where history and culture are shared, in Camilleri’s and Izzo’s novels, Mediterranean cities, such as Marseille and the fictional Vigàta, become transcultural places. This contradicts the common perception of crime fiction as a literature of violence and conflict, and of a us-versus-the-other (often a foreigner) narrative, and positions Mediterranean crime fiction in the trend – highlighted by Izzo – that sees artists responding to violence and conflicts with “their passion for the sea that unites56”. This is an essential trait that can help us rethink what “Mediterranean crime fiction” may really be, especially in the context of the Euronoir. If Euronoir features “Europeanness57” and, perhaps, risks to resurrect outmoded Eurocentric cultural conceptions, Mediterranean crime fiction is a celebration of transculturality which overcomes the current European borders to include both Mediterranean shores. Ultimately, Mediterranean crime fiction argues for crime fiction as a space for promoting transculturality and reveals the Mediterranean as an exemplary figure of such transcultural exchange.

29

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Notes

1 Paolo Rumiz, È oriente, Milan, Feltrinelli, 2005, p. 106.

2 For example, Andrea Camilleri sold more than 30 million books worldwide. They were translated into 32 languages, including Catalan and Gaelic. In 2012, Camilleri’s Il campo del vasaio (translated as The Potter’s Field, 2011) was the winner of the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger. Vázquez Montalbán won the Krimi Preis in Germany three times (in 1986, 1989, 1991), while Batya Gur, Jean-Claude Izzo, Yasmina Khadra and Petros Markaris won one each respectively in 1993, 2001, 2002, and 2005. Each of Gur’s mystery novels was voted one of the Best Mysteries of the Year by the New York Times Book Review.

3 Dimitroulia, 2018, p. 816.

4 Markaris, 2005, p. 42.

5 Barbara Pezzotti, « Conversation on a New Sicily: Interview with Andrea Camilleri », Storytelling: A Critical Journal of Popular Narrative, vol. 9, n° 1, 2009, pp. 37-52, p. 3.

6 Sandro Ferri, « Towards a History of Mediterranean Noir », CrimeReads [en ligne], traduit de l’italien par Michael Reynolds, 20 avril 2018, consulté le 17 mai 2021, URL : https://crimereads.com/towards-a-history-of-mediterranean-noir/, p. 4.

7 Pezzotti 2021, 98.

8 David Barba, « La novela negra mediterránea », in Primer encuentro europeo de novela negra. Homenaje a Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Barcelona, Planeta, 2005, pp. 21-22, p. 21.

9 Germán Cánovas, « La novela negra mediterránea. Los placeres del desencanto », Quimera, vol. 259-260, 2005, pp. 45-50, p. 49.

10 Gabriella Turnaturi, « The Mediterranean Noir », in Graziella Parati (éd.), New Perspectives in Italian Cultural Studies: The Arts and History, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012, p. 53.

11 Alberto Zambenedetti, « Mean Streets and Bloody Shores: Toward a Spatial Theory of the Mediterranean Noir », Studies in European Cinema, vol. 17, n° 3, 2019, pp. 205-217, p. 3.

12 Claudio Fogu, The Fishing Net and the Spider Web: Mediterranean Imaginaries and the Making of Italians, London & New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2020, p. 6.

13 Kim Toft Hansen, Steven Peacock, Sue Turnbull (éd.), European Television Crime Drama and Beyond, London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018, p. 3.

14 Stewart King, Jesper Gulddal, Alistair Rolls (éd.), Cambridge Companion of Crime Fiction as World Literature, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2022, p. 196.

15 Jean-Claude Izzo, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil. Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine and Noir Fiction, New York, Europa Editions, 2013, p. 45. Emphasis is mine.

16 Fernand Braudel, On History, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1980.

17 Ian Chambers, Mediterranean Crossings. The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity, Durham, NC, Duke University Press, 2008, p. 32.

18 Amin Maalouf, « Construire la Méditerrannée », in Michel Le Bris, Jean Claude Izzo (éd.), Méditerranée. Une Anthologie, Paris, Librio, 1998, pp. 89-92, p. 90.

19 Paolo Rumiz, È oriente, Milan, Feltrinelli, 2005, p. 136.

20 This article is part of a wider project in which I analyse the representation of illegal immigration, border control and gender violence in French, Spanish, Italian Greek, Turkish, Moroccan, Algerian, and Israeli crime fiction.

21 Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda, Barbara Pezzotti (éd.), The Foreign in International Crime Fiction: Transcultural Representations, London, Continuum, 2012, p. 2.

22 Novelli, 89.

23 Maurizio Clausi, I luoghi di Montalbano, Palermo, Sellerio, 2006.

24 Barbara Pezzotti, The Importance of Place in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction: A Bloody Journey, Madison and Teaneck, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012, p. 135-137.

25 Sandro Ferri, « Towards a History of Mediterranean Noir », CrimeReads [en ligne], traduit de l’italien par Michael Reynolds, 20 avril 2018, consulté le 17 mai 2021, URL : https://crimereads.com/towards-a-history-of-mediterranean-noir/, p. 4.

26 Corrado Giustiniani, Fratellastri d’Italia, Bari, Laterza, 2003, p. 78-108; Alessandro Dal Lago, Non-persone. L’esclusione dei migranti in una società globale, Milan, Feltrinelli, 2004, p. 25.

27 Chiara Mazzucchelli, « Roots and Routes: Immigration in Andrea Camilleri’s Montalbano Series », Italica, vol. 95, n° 2, 2018, pp. 161-182.

28 Elgin Eckhert, « Andrea Camilleri: The Author as Public Intellectual », Italica, vol. 91, n° 4, 2014, pp. 702-13.

29 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, Palermo, Sellerio, 1996, p. 36; The Snack Thief, London, Picador, 2003, p. 34.

30 Wolfgang Welsch, « The Changing Form of Cultures Today », Filozofski vestnik, vol. 22, n° 2, 2001, pp. 59-86.

31 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, op. cit., p. 96-97.

32 Andrea Camilleri, The Snack Thief, op. cit., p. 107.

33 Ian Chambers, Mediterranean Crossings. The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity, op. cit., p. 32.

34 Amin Maalouf, « Construire la Méditerrannée », art. cit., p. 90.

35 Jean Anderson, et. al. (éd.), The Foreign in International Crime Fiction: Transcultural Representations, op. cit., p. 2 ; Christiana Gregoriou, « Criminals », in Janice Allan, Jesper Gulddal, Stewart King, Andrew Pepper (éd.), The Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction, New York, Routledge, 2020, pp. 168-176, p. 170-171.

36 Andrea Camilleri, Il cane di terracotta, Palermo, Sellerio, 1994, p. 223.

37 Andrea Camilleri, The Terracotta Dog, London, Picador, 2002, p. 268.

38 Jessica Trevitt, « Fluid Borders: Translational Readings of Transnational Literature », The AALTRA Review: A Journal of Literary Translation, n° 8, 2014, pp. 12-21.

39 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, op. cit., p. 69; The Snack Thief, op. cit., p. 73.

40 Andrea Camilleri, Il ladro di merendine, op. cit., p. 155; The Snack Thief, op. cit., p. 177.

41 Jana Vizmuller-Zocco, « I test della (im) popolarità: Il fenomeno Camilleri », Quaderni d’Italianistica, vol. 22, n° 1, 2001, pp. 35-46, p. 39.

42 Simona Demontis, I colori della letteratura. Un’indagine sul caso Camilleri, Milan, Rizzoli, 2001, p. 57.

43 Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, London & New York, Routledge, 1994, p. 7.

44 Fabrice Leroy, « Resignifying the French City: Jean-Claude Izzo’s “Hardboiled” Marseille », The Image of the City in Literature, Media and Society, contributions tirées du colloque de The Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, printemps 2003, pp. 174-179, p. 175.

45 David Platten, « “Polar Village”. The French Roman Noir beyond the City Walls », Romance Studies, vol. 25, n° 2, 2007, pp. 95-110, p. 105.

46 Miriam Saward, « Identity and Place in Jean-Claude Izzo’s Total Khéops », AJFS, vol. 49, n° 3, 2012, p. 241-249, p. 245.

47 Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops (1995), in La Trilogie Fabio Montale, Paris, Gallimard, 2006, pp. 51-304, p. 121; Total Chaos, New York, Europa Editions, 2005, p. 77.

48 Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops, op. cit., p. 122; Total Chaos, op. cit., p. 78.

49 Jean-Claude Izzo, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil. Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine and Noir Fiction, op. cit., p. 33.

50 Stuart Hall, « The Question of Cultural Identity », in Tony McGrew, Stuart Hall, David Held (éd.), Modernity and its Futures, London, Polity Press, 1992, pp. 274-323, p. 310.

51 Ana Cristina Mendes, « The Liquidscape of Mare Nostrum: Manoel de Oliveira and Bansky’s Mediterranean Crossings », Continuum, vol. 33, n° 5, 2019, pp. 565-579, p. 10.

52 Stuart Hall, « The Question of Cultural Identity », art. cit., p. 310.

53 Nicholas Hewitt, « Departures and Homecomings: Diaspora in Jean-Claude Izzo’s Marseille », French Cultural Studies, vol. 17, n° 3, 2006, pp. 257-268, p. 258.

54 Paolo Rumiz, È oriente, op. cit.

55 Ian Chambers, Mediterranean Crossings. The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity, op. cit., p. 68.

56 Jean-Claude Izzo, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil. Essays on Marseilles, Mediterranean Cuisine and Noir Fiction, op. cit., p. 45.

57 Kim Toft Hansen, Steven Peacock, Sue Turnbull (éd.), European Television Crime Drama and Beyond, op. cit., 2018, p. 3.

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Référence électronique

Barbara Pezzotti, « Towards a definition of Mediterranean Noir or Crime in the Mediterranean: Mediterranean noir or Mediterranean crime fiction? »Belphégor [En ligne], 20-1 | 2022, mis en ligne le 16 août 2022, consulté le 20 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/belphegor/4684 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/belphegor.4684

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Auteur

Barbara Pezzotti

Barbara Pezzotti (PhD, Victoria University of Wellington) is a Lecturer in European Languages at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include crime fiction and popular culture, literary geographies and utopian literature. She has published on Italian, Spanish, New Zealand and Scandinavian crime fiction. She is the author of The Importance of Place in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction. A Bloody Journey (FDU Press, 2012); Politics and Society in Italian Crime Fiction: An Historical Overview (McFarland, 2014); and Investigating Italy’s Past through Crime Fiction, Films and TV Series: Murder in the Age of Chaos (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016). She is the co-editor (with Jean Anderson and Carolina Miranda) of The Foreign in International Crime Fiction: Transcultural Representations (London: Continuum, 2012); Serial Crime Fiction. Dying for More (London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015); and Blood on the Table: Essays on Food in International Crime Fiction (Jefferson NC: McFarland, 2018). Her current project is provisionally entitled “Mediterranean Crime Fiction: Place, Gender, Identity”. 

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