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Domesticated Slovenians in detective novels of Avgust Demšar
Primož Mlačnik, 2022, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: I investigate the politics of representation in the detective novels of Avgust Demšar, a prolific Slovenian author of ten detective novels, by deconstructing their narratives and the detective triad. The novels Thin Ice(Tanek led), Europe(Evropa), Miloš, The Island(Otok) and The Church (Cerkev) are presented through the perspective of domestic noir. Demšar's novels criticise bigotry and negotiate with the detective genre's inherent culturally conservative topos, oriented towards re-establishing the social status quo. At the manifest narrative level, homophobia and repressive sexual morale are delegitimised through the character of a murderous homophobic mother and politically correct lesbian detectives Nika Lavrič and macho detective Miloš, and by an emphatic male detective Martin Vrenko. However, repressive sexual morale is affirmed on the level of relationships between men and women or criminals and victims. Unweddedness, non-heteronormativity, divorce or adultery, both categorical pairs share archetypal sins of the patriarchal Christian imaginarium. Therefore, the ambivalent méconnaissance between affirmation and negation of cultural conservatism offers a unique view into contemporary Slovenian society's norms, fears, and prevalent ideological ideas. The norm of the stable monogamous partnership and the fear of private matters becoming public function as the elusive protection against social evil.
Keywords: domestic noir, detective novels, politics of representation, cultural conservatism
Published in RUNG: 07.07.2022; Views: 1246; Downloads: 7
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