Coming Soon: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy is coming soon!

I found this to be perhaps my favorite chapter to have worked on thus far, since it was a nice opportunity to deal with two of my favorite topics — literature and philosophy — at the same time.

The mass popularity of Stieg Larsson’s crime/mystery novel series intrigues me. The novels make for fun reads to be sure. In particular, what had me thinking about Larsson’s Millennium trilogy were the conditions under which we think of a book as “popular fiction” as opposed to “literature.” We read fiction and we read literature, and perhaps we have to an extent internalized what those distinctions might mean. But it’s also extremely worthwhile to ask ourselves — why do we think of what we read the way we do?

Here’s a quick chapter sneak preview:

How do we go about deciding what the difference is between fiction and literature, if there even is one? And does it matter? Could it be that this distinction is made for us, well before we ever reach the pages of a book? We can use our experience of reading Larsson’s crime novels to consider our own definition of literature and how we come to think of literature. Larsson has provided clues for us to think about his novels as more than merely crime fiction, as Blomkvist says: “Because this isn’t some damned locked- room mystery novel.” But if we know what such a book isn’t, then what is it?

The questions of what literature is, and why we think of it as such, can lead to some rewarding discussion. I hope people will enjoy reading it — and the philosophical interludes that range from Nietzsche to Wittgenstein — and take the chapter as an opportunity to reflect on the act of reading itself.

And, of course, the brand new David Fincher-directed adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is set to debut in December 2011. Check out the cool movie trailer in the meantime:


There’s already been some intrigue revolving around the movie trailer, something of a bit of a game of musical chairs with Sony, as Wired reports (Wired: “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trailer: This Time It’s Official“). That notwithstanding, the movie looks like it could be very good. I’m interested.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is set to hit bookstores, November 8, 2011.

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