Subverting the Ethics of Crime Fiction in Dževad Karahasan’s Noćno vijeće (The Night Council)

  • Matija Bosnjak University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


This article explores the crisis of modernity using the example of Dževad Karahasan’s novel Noćno vijeće (The Night Council), a work of literature thematising war crimes committed in the name of nationalism during the 1990s in Yugoslavia. By comparing the specific compositional features of this novel with the general formal and ideological tendencies of crime fiction as such, our analysis establishes that the ethical foundations of contemporary civilisation along with the modern notion of justice as mirrored by the genre of the detective novel are, in the case of Noćno vijeće (The Night Council), treated as questionable. Belonging to the line of critique that observes modernity as a state of permanent crisis, this novel betrays the standard conventions of the criminalist genre, thereby contesting the modern era’s prevalent idea of justice by reflecting on the complexity of ethical order in human society.