Pontus Revinge, the narrator of Kerstin Ekman’s most recent novel, Mordets praktik, believes he is the model for Hjalmar Söderberg’s eponymous protagonist in Doctor Glas. The relationship appears instead to be the reverse, for Revinge gradually begins emulating the acts of that fictional character. Though Mordets praktik incorporates numerous quotations from and allusions to Söderberg, the plot is not a recapitulation, but rather an ongoing response and commentary on several interlocking levels, since Ekman establishes a number of similarities that Revinge himself does not note. Comparisons between Revinge’s ‘reality’ and Söderberg’s novel indirectly illustrate Revinge’s discussion of how literature transforms the world around us, presenting it in a more favorable light.
The intertextual discourse of Mordets praktik extends beyond Söderberg. Connections to other literary classics and to Ekman’s own earlier works are also apparent, not only with regard to the murder mystery aspects of the story.
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