Monday, May 27, 2024

Hammett's "Suggestions to Detective Story Writers."

Dashiell Hammett,
Yank, 30 Nov. 1945
The Library of America has posted Dashiell Hammett's "Suggestions to Detective Story Writers," which were part of his Crime Wave columns of 7 June and 5 July 1930 in the New York Evening Post. Irritated by mystery writers' mistakes that he'd seen in their works, Hammett offered correctives of these, including items such as "When you are knocked unconscious you do not feel the blow that does it" and "'Youse' is the plural of 'you.'"

Monday, May 20, 2024

Clues 42.1: Carr, Christie, Conan Doyle, Eco, Faulkner, island mysteries, Korean crime fiction, etc.

Vol 42, no. 1 (2024) of Clues: A Journal of Detection has been published; see below for abstracts. For print issues or subscriptions, contact McFarland. Ebook versions are available via Kindle and Nook.

Update, 25 May 2024: Google Play ebook of the issue is now available.

Introduction: A Kaleidoscope of Cultures and Works
Caroline Reitz (John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY / CUNY Graduate Center)

The executive editor of Clues provides an overview of the issue, including articles on John Dickson Carr; Agatha Christie; Arthur Conan Doyle in Dutch translation; Umberto Eco; a YA mystery series featuring Indigenous issues; island mysteries; Korean crime fiction; and noir’s relationship with works by William Faulkner, David Goodis, and John D. MacDonald.

Spotlight on... Crime Fiction in Korea: Transformation and Transnationality of the Genre
Jooyeon Rhee (Penn State University)

This essay traces the transnational literary flow and popular imaginations of modernity in colonial Korea (1910–45), the effect of the Korean War and the Cold War, and diverse responses to global neoliberalism in contemporary Korea. It highlights representative themes in each period and notable writers in modern crime fiction.

“A Modernist Lampstand”: Noir and the Avant-garde in William Faulkner’s Sanctuary
Alex Davis (University College Cork, Ireland) 

This essay considers Sanctuary in the context of William Faulkner’s career-long predilection for crime fiction, interpreting his avant-garde appropriation and manipulation of genre writing in the novel against the background of its relationship to American naturalism (including the noir novel) and nineteenth-century European realism.

Despair and the Noir Character
Michael Caleb Tasker 

Noir’s atmosphere of anxiety and/or despair stems not from environment and setting but rather from character and from an outsider defined by and riddled with a very Kierkegaardian sense of existentialist despair. As works by John D. MacDonald and David Goodis demonstrate, the despairing protagonist is the foremost defining characteristic of noir fiction.

“Nobody in the Renaissance conceived of a revenge quite so delicious”:
John Dickson Carr’s Bencolin Stories and Jacobean Revenge Plays

Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

This article argues that John Dickson Carr’s first four novels about Inspector Henri Bencolin each draw from a different early modern revenge tragedy: It Walks by Night alludes to John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi; Castle Skull borrows names and atmosphere from Henry Chettle’s Hoffman; The Lost Gallows nods to Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy; and The Corpse in the Waxworks evokes Thomas Middleton’s and William Rowley’s The Changeling

Monday, May 13, 2024

Ian Rankin on stage.

Scheduled for the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham (UK) in November 2024 is Rebus: A Game Called Malice, a play cowritten by Ian Rankin and Simon Reade, in which investigator John Rebus must suss out secrets of guests during a post-dinner mystery game. Reade may be best known as the producer-screenwriter for the 2017 film of R.C. Sherriff's Journey's End.

Update, May 25, 2024: The play will run at the Pavilion Theatre Glasgow from Sept 23–27.

Monday, May 06, 2024

Arsène Lupin: Music and text.

Music Box Records has issued a 20th anniversary edition of the soundtrack to Arsène Lupin (2004) composed by Debbie Wiseman. The film features adventures of the gentleman thief who was created by Maurice Leblanc (1864–1941) and debuted in 1905. Penguin has issued various Arsène Lupin collections in English and Spanish, Gallimard has versions in French for young readers, and Coup d'Oeil in Québec has a French edition for older readers.

Listen to some samples from the soundtrack.