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Introduction: Journeys through Crime, Time, and Space. JANICE M. ALLAN
From Enigmas to Emotions: The Twentieth-Century Canonization of Crime Fiction. MAURIZIO ASCARI (Univ of Bologna). Starting
from the early-twentieth-century criticism of the “clue-puzzle” tradition, the
author investigates the progressive return of emotions to the scene of both
creative and critical crime writing. The analysis encompasses aspects of the
twentieth-century canonization of crime fiction, dispelling some lingering
critical prejudices and presenting the genre as complex.
Enlightenment, Counter-Enlightenment: Detection, Reason, and Genius in Tales of Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. GREG SEVIK (Cayuga Community College, NY). The author explores the complex relationship between detective fiction and traditions of
the Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, including romanticism. Given this
background, he argues that detective stories by Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur
Conan Doyle highlight the productive tension within Western reason among
rule-bound rationality, critical reflection, and the inexplicability of genius.
True Crime in Bermondsey: Representations of Maria Manning. ANNA KAY (Univ of Melbourne). The author examines the literary representations of the
nineteenth-century murderess Maria Manning, arguing that the frequently complex
and contradictory images that emerged of Manning illuminate broader insights
into Victorian conceptions of gender, sexuality, and criminality.
Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady and Feminine Reason:
“Quite incredible, and nevertheless quite true!” TABITHA SPARKS (McGill Univ, Canada). The author examines Collins’s 1875
detective novel The Law and the Lady as
a site of conflict between institutional, legal power and feminine resistance
to it, with a disabled character upsetting the rigid gender and social norms that
underwrite the novel’s central mystery.
“What we call civilization”: Raymond Chandler’s Geographic Critique of Socioeconomic Inequalities in the Philip Marlowe Novels—A Barthesian Reading. PETER CHOMKO. In his Philip Marlowe novels, Raymond Chandler subverts the formulaic narrative
structure common to much mainstream crime fiction and, in doing so, opens up to
the popular imagination new ways of deconstructing many mid-century myths about
Los Angeles. Unlike the fictional detectives who preceded him, Marlowe does not
solve crimes so much as expose them,
bringing to light the corrupt superstructure of inequality and injustice that
shapes—and is shaped by—the Los Angeles landscape.
Liminality and Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. PETER MESSENT (Univ of Nottingham, UK). The author examines Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley to
illustrate the role of liminality in her text. Highsmith explores the
relationship among violent crime, deception, and the free-floating nature of
subjectivity to foreground the ability to move between selves. Such transitions
destabilize any notion of the grounded self and, moreover, radically challenge
the understanding of the meaning of civilization and culture.
Literary Allusions in Robert B. Parker’s Spenser Series. MARTY S. KNEPPER (Morningside College, IA). Although Robert B. Parker and his private-eye hero Spenser
had no great love of academics, they both loved reading. The first-person
narrative and dialogue in the Spenser series display a broad range of literary
references, serving various artistic purposes and giving pleasure to
book-loving readers. (This article includes an appendix that lists appearances of literary allusions in the Spenser series)
Masochism and the Novela Negra: The Case of Francisco González Ledesma. SHELLEY GODSLAND (Univ of Birmingham, UK). The author argues that the novella negra exposes and explores the masochism of its tough male investigator, as did its predecessor, the American hard-boiled detective. In Expediente
Barcelona (1983) by Francisco González
Ledesma, the protagonist’s masochistic attitudes and behaviors are illuminated
through discussion of Freudian and other thinking on masochism.
“There’s nothing people won’t do to one another, if the circumstances are right”: Male Rape and the Politics of Representation in John Harvey’s Police Procedural
Easy Meat. CHARLOTTE BEYER (Univ of Gloucestershire, UK). The author discusses portrayals
of male rape and in John Harvey’s police procedural novel Easy Meat(1996), exploring how the novel interrogates the
representation of sexual crime, male rape, and masculinity in crime fiction. By
examining Harvey’s portrayal of masculinity and sexuality in Easy
Meat, the author explores the ways in which
crime fiction problematizes the politics of representing sexual crime.
Crime Fiction and the Armchair Traveler: The Case of Martin Walker’s Bruno Courrèges Series. JOHN SCAGGS (Southwestern College, KS). The defining characteristic of Martin Walker’s Bruno Courrèges novels is their
detailed sense of place. The author examines how the sense of place is created
in the novels and suggests that, rather than merely being a simple backdrop
against which the plots of the novels unfold, it is an integral part of their
themes and narrative structures.
“You Think It’s
Possible to Fix Broken Things?”: Terror in the South African Crime Fiction of Margie Orford and Jassy Mackenzie. MARLA HARRIS. Drawing on the work of Robert J. C. Young, the author argues
that Jassy Mackenzie and Margie Orford’s crime novels of post–apartheid South
Africa offer coping strategies in the face of inexplicable violence. As they
fundamentally are about living with terror and terrorism, they resonate with
contemporary American readers.
Saturo Saito. Detective
Fiction and the Rise of the Japanese Novel, 1880–1930. Elizabeth Blakesley
Michael Dirda. On Conan Doyle:
Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling.
Melissa Schaub. Middlebrow
Feminism in Classic British Detective Fiction: The Female Gentleman.
Peter Baker and
Deborah Shaller, eds. Detecting Detection: International Perspectives on the
Uses of a Plot.
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