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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11227

Title: The "Problem" of Immigration and Contemporary Spanish Detective Fiction
Authors: Lino, Shanna Catarina Fernandes
Advisor: Davidson, Robert A.
Department: Spanish
Keywords: Novela Negra
Spanish Detective Fiction
Immigration in Spanish Mass Media
Novela Detectivesca
Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Juan Madrid
Manuel Quinto
Jorge Martínez Reverte
Yolanda Soler Onís
Lorenzo Silva
Antonio Lozano
José Javier Abasolo
Andreu Martín
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2008
Abstract: “The Problem of Immigration and Contemporary Spanish Detective Fiction” examines the viability of the detective genre as a forum to dispute the commonly held perception of contemporary immigration to Spain as a problem. Focusing first on popular series of the Transition and Disenchantment periods that followed the death of Francisco Franco, I identify the detective novel, and in particular the hard-boiled variety on which the Spanish tradition is based, as an ideal space for discussions of otherness. In the 1990s, as large-scale immigration to Spain became an increasing reality, North Africans, Latin Americans, and Eastern Europeans joined minority groups already marginalised within Spain and became the focus of well-known authors such as Jorge Martínez Reverte, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and Andreu Martín and relative newcomers Yolanda Soler Onís, José Javier Abasolo, Lorenzo Silva, and Antonio Lozano. All use the conventions of the detective genre––suspense, pursuit, intrigue––to address misconceptions about immigration and to reveal that the ultimate culprits in these stories are ill-willed traffickers, corrupt security agencies, and the widespread apathy of parts of the Spanish population and its government. Through the twists and turns of their storylines, these politically committed authors show that while immigrants may be forced to inhabit Spain’s underbelly, they are not single-handedly responsible for Spanish society’s perceived demise. My dissertation is informed by a multi-disciplinary approach that draws on media, cultural, socio-anthropological, and postcolonial studies. The connection between crime literature and the mass media is especially intriguing given the latter’s power of influence over the conceptualisation of immigration. The detective texts juxtapose the media of the post-modern electronic information age, which is by definition frontier-less, with a nation designing ever-stronger borders. While analysing the various borders that divide a national and global society in the entangled tale of immigration to Spain, and the discursive roles they play within the codified genre of crime fiction, I argue that these authors use the conventions of their medium to provide internal views of the process of immigration as an alternative to the voyeuristic daily reporting that otherwise threatens to desensitise the Spanish public to the topic altogether.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11227
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Spanish & Portuguese - Doctoral theses

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