Saturday, February 20, 2010


The cover story of today's Daily Telegraph review is entitled 'On the trail of the world's most seductive sleuth'.

The story is David Gritten's interview with Noomi Rapace, who plays Lisbeth Salander in the film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and is a mixture of the usual background material [Pippi Longstocking, Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson etc] along with some interesting insights into how the actress prepared for the role, and her admiration for Stieg Larsson's agenda.

"I think Stieg Larsson was pretty brave," she said. "He wanted to bring up things that we don't like to talk about, or like to ignore. In Sweden everybody has this perfect surface. Everybody's very polite and controls their feelings.
For instance there's certainly violence against women here, but it gets swept under the carpet. We have immigrants, but you don't see them in the centre of Stockholm- a lot of people here don't feel part of this society. And we still have old Nazis, Swedes who agreed with Hitler. We've never addressed this."

I think it is a little harsh that in this lengthy article, and in the Telegraph listings of the week's best sellers that the translator Reg Keeland does not get a mention.

Is Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace, the world's most seductive sleuth?
Any other suggestions? Barbara Havers as played by Sharon Small, or Jane Tennison as played by Helen Mirren spring immediately to mind.

The film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opens in the UK on March 12.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - Thanks for sharing this interview. That's an interesting question about who is the world's most seductive sleuth. Are male nominees accepted?? ;)

5:18 AM  
Blogger JournoMich said...

I don't know when we'll get this in the US but I'll definitely see it. She is not what I imagined in my head, but I think she is MORE than what I imagined. I was a bit disappointed with the book--I thought it could have been better than it was. The ideas were there, but the writing wasn't. I hate to say that, but I am interested to see if the movie can fill in the holes.


5:30 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Margot-Of course male nominees are accepted, and we would have to include 'seductive translators of Norwegian sleuths' if we wanted input from Petrona and Euro Crime. ;o)

Michele- I too was disappointed with the first book TATTOO but was encouraged by the translator Reg Keeland to read the second The Girl Who Played with Fire which was a much more exciting read. I posted here at Translators in the Rain
about meeting up with Reg and his charming wife Tiina Nunnally. As the books become even more well known and the film is released I was thinking about auctioning the car blanket that was sat on by "the translator of Stieg Larsson".
The third book The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest was even better in my opinion, and Larsson's style had improved while still retaining his enthusiasm for the story.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

A very stimulating question, Norman. If I may stray from the literary for a moment, do you recall Sharon Gless as Christine Cagney in Cagney and Lacey? And Suranne Jones in Vincent? Say no more, squire. Back to literary translation to the screen, my only reason for watching the very irritating Wire in the Blood was Hermione Norris. Scrumpers in some indefinable way. I can't believe you threw Jane Tennison in here. I'd rather have a naughty weekend with Margaret Rutherford's Miss Marple than get mixed up with Tennison OR Mirren -- I don't know which one of those two would scare me most. But I have always sensed you are a brave and intrepid man, Norman, so that would explain it. And then, of course, there is Sharon Small's Barbara Havers, whom I would have predicted you would light upon, as it were, walking testimony to our shared good taste, and who is welcome to go through my drawers any time she likes.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

I'm lucky enough to have seen the film (1) already, and agree that it would be hard to beat NR as a seductive sleuth (not that I watch much TV so many potential candidates must have passed me by).

The Scandinavia "old Nazi" theme that you highlight here is interesting. I have recently finished Lief Davidsen's "The Woman from Bratislava" whose plot depends on the Danish collaboration with the Nazis and subsequent denial. And one of Jo Nesbo's was the same about Norway (Redbreast? Sorry, cannot quite remember which.)

4:36 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Philip-Sharon Gless good choice. I had not watched Vincent but the images of Suranne Jones mean that I will keep a watch for it on cable.;o) Brave and intrepid, not me, I would be terrified by Mironova, Mirren or Tennison but thought I had better mention someone else as well as Sharon Small in case people thought I had a fixation about her.

Maxine-It was indeed The Redbreast, and Jo Nesbo has been brutally honest in interviews about Norway's pro-Nazi efforts on the Eastern Front.
Sweden now has similar problems to France and Britain, and these can only get worse .

8:06 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

The most seductive sleuth? Well, what about Noomi RapaceĀ“s husband? Or Rebus (in the shape of John Hannah, of course).

We watched the second Stieg Larsson film last week, and I think it is very good. I should post a review, of course, but I am so bad at writing about something I have only watched as I cannot go back and check what was actually said.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

That guy who plays Varg Veum looks pretty cool, from the pix on Glenn Harper's blog. Unfortunately, a Norwegian language TV series...

9:20 AM  

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