In Prosperous Sweden…

Representations of Sweden in Russian Reviews of Swedish Crime Fiction 2000−2021


  • Malin Podlevskikh Carlström Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Gothenburg, Sweden / School of Languages and Translation Studies, University of Turku, Finland



imagology, Swedish crime fiction, translation reception, Russia, newspaper reviews


Based on a corpus of 203 reviews published in Russian newspapers and periodicals between 2000 and 2021, this article investigates the image of Sweden in the Russian reception of Swedish crime novels. The analysis aims to answer the following research questions: 1) How are Sweden and Swedes described in Russian reviews of Swedish crime fiction in 2000–2021? 2) Is there any indication of the novel reviewed having influenced the critic’s perception of Sweden? Swedish crime fiction is a popular genre in Russia, and constitutes as much as 63% of all translated Swedish prose fiction published in Russia between 2010 and 2021, which makes this a highly relevant inquiry. The thematic analysis of the reviews revealed that previously established positive images of Sweden are often used ironically, in contrast to the gruesome crimes described in the novels. Furthermore, several reviews indicate that the novel reviewed had an impact on the critic’s view on Sweden. Additionally, some reviews display ideological interpretations, indicating that western values are to blame for the situations described in the novels. Based on the analysis, it seems that Swedish crime fiction does impact the image of Sweden in Russia, which might be problematic given the genre's popularity.


Research material

Please see worksheet B of the published dataset Swedish Crime Fiction in Russian Translation: Editions, Corpus and Reviews. (Podlevskikh Carlström 2024) for detailed information about my primary material.

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