Essays on detective fiction

For years I have been hearing about detective stories. I am always being reminded that the most serious public figures of our time, from Woodrow Wilson to W. Yeats, have been addicts of this form of fiction.

Essays on detective fiction

Crime and detection have been common elements in world literature, as exemplified in the biblical stories of Cain and Abel and Susanna and the Elders, as well as in works by Sophocles, William Shakespeare, and Voltaire.

Despite the long history of crime and detection in literature, detective fiction as a full-fledged genre first appeared in the mid-nineteenth century in the detective stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Auguste Dupin, inspired generations of subsequent sleuths.

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Particular political, social, and ideological forces unique to the nineteenth century are often cited by critics as factors contributing to the emergence of the detective Essays on detective fiction genre during this era.

With the advent of bourgeois societies, criminals, who in autocratic societies enjoyed, in the popular imagination, the reputation of heroic rebels, eventually became viewed as a menace by a social class interested in safeguarding its property. At the same time the police, regarded in the eighteenth century as an organization dedicated to protecting autocrats, rose in popular esteem.

Once maligned as agents of corrupt kings, members of the police force were now valued for the protection they provided, and the figure of the law enforcement officer became an acceptable protagonist in literature.

In the intellectual realm, the Enlightenment brought about a profound respect for the power of reasoning, as well as an overwhelming faith in the ability of science to solve social problems. This paved the way for the development of a new literary hero, the detective-scientist.

These protagonists were often gentlemen possessed of such admired traits as scientific knowledge and superior intellect, and they elicited much enthusiasm among nineteenth-century readers. The policeman-hero introduced by these writers inspired the growth of the French roman policier and the American police novel, branches of detective fiction that have flourished in the twentieth century.

Other novelists of the time—Mary Elizabeth Braddon in England and Anna Katharine Green in America, for example—created the domestic detective novel in which crime investigation is combined with realistic representations of everyday life, a form of detective fiction that further developed in the twentieth century.

Detective Fiction Critical Essays -

The Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which feature the deductive powers of an eccentric amateur detective, are the best known examples of these. For example, commentators, particularly scholars analyzing the works of Collins and Dickens, noted a peculiar authorial ambivalence regarding crime.

In fact, the shady world of crime came to symbolize a particular shadow in the Victorian psyche: Crime novels, particularly works by Collins, also shed light on the social problems of Victorian England, including poverty, discrimination, and domestic violence against women.

Hyde commentators saw symptoms of a malaise more profound than the Victorian crisis of conscience: Freudian readings, from the earliest critical efforts to the Neo-Freudianism of Jacques Lacan, approached detective prose from a clinical point of view.

In fact, critics openly likened the process of criminal detection to psychoanalysis, arguing that the analyst, like the sleuth, searches for the truth. However, since the dominant intellectual paradigms underpinning twentieth-century criticism essentially dispensed with the idea of personal identity, this became a problematic interpretation.

Essays on detective fiction

Indeed, there are vague hints about the content of the letter throughout the story, but the reader is constantly focused on the object itself, or more specifically, on the absence of it. Commentary on the importance of nineteenth-century detective fiction has also concentrated on the cultural significance of the hero and the function of the genre in literary history.

The detective of this era was viewed, according to critics, as a kind of prophet of logical reasoning who becomes viewed as a sort of savior for his defense of moral order. At the same time, as Elliot L. Thus, the genre of detective fiction in the nineteenth century is often viewed as a transition between Romantic faith in the perfectibility of the world and Victorian disillusionment with its harsh to getting started with crime writing - ideas - characters - structure - POV - psychic distance - dialogue.

A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah For this reason an essay like “The Amateur Detective Just Won’t Do: Raymond Chandler and British Detective Fiction” published by Curtis Evans in his blog, The Passing Tramp, cannot be included.


Online essays would require a list of their own. noun. the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, especially in prose form. works of this class, as novels or short stories: detective fiction. something feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story: We've all heard the fiction of her being in delicate health.

Who dunnit? Top tips for writing detective fiction | Children's books | The Guardian

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