Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018

Publication Title

The German Quarterly


For many decades, popular literature, including crime and detective fiction, was viewed only in opposition to high literature and as unworthy of scholarly attention. This study proposes an approach that recognizes this discourse, yet shifts the focus to consider indicators of the popularity of the Kriminalroman during the Weimar era through additional evidence of its reception, production, and consumption. Even as these sources acknowledge the persistent stigma of crime and detective fiction, they also present a complex, multivalent notion of its popularity as the bourgeoisie increasingly participated in writing, reading, and commenting on crime and detective fiction. This re-visioning of the popularity of the Kriminalroman situates the genre within the particular cultural and social context of the Weimar era to an extent that has been largely absent from the scholarship to date.