Living in states under the rule of law, members of western societies like to think that criminal behaviour is duly punished, the disturbed social order is restored, and the SECURITY of all citizens is maintained. The popular genre of the detective novel affirms this CERTAINTY by showing how either the police or an outstanding individual solve even the most mysterious crimes either through alogical assembling and interpretation of clues or through a daring confrontation with the criminals. We will survey the development of the genre from its beginnings with Edgar Allan Poe through the ‘golden age’ of the British ‘armchairdetective’ and the disillusioned period of the American ‘hard-boiled’ sleuth to the various female and ethnic detectives of today, and discuss what the historical variants reveal about both the timeless fascination of the formula and the changing conditions and assumptions of their times.
TEXTS TO BE DISCUSSED (and to be read by the participants)
EDGAR ALLAN POE; The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
RAYMOND CHANDLER, The Big Sleep (1939)
AGATHA CHRISTIE, Death on the Nile (1937)
CHESTER HIMES, Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965)
TONY HILLERMAN, Listening Woman (1978)
SUE GRAFTON, A is for Alibi (1982)
BASIC CRITICAL WORKS
JULIAN SYMONS, Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel, A
History. As hardback London: Faber and Faber, 1972; as paperback
Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1974; as hardback 3rd rev. ed. London: Penguin
Books, 1992 and ff. and New York: Mysterious Press, 1993 and ff. ISBN
0892964960 (Amer. Hardback ed.). The paperback is presently out of print, but
inexpensive copies are still available from Amazon.com.
HANS BERTENS & THEO D HAEN. Contemporary American Crime Fiction.
Houndsmill and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. ISBN 0-333-67455-3
(hardback) and 0-333-68465-6 (paperback).
PETER FREESE. The Ethnic Detective: Chester Himes, Harry Kemelman, Tony
Hillerman. Essen: Die Blaue Eule, 1992. ISBN 3-89206-502-0. Out of print, but a
xeroxed copy will be available in Alpbach.
STEPHEN KNIGHT, Crime Fiction 1800-2000: Detection, Death, Diversity. As
hardback and paperback Houndsmill and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
ISBN 0-333-79178-9 (hardback) and 0-333-79179-7 (paperback).
JOHN SCAGGS, Crime Fiction (The New Criticial Idiom). As hardback and
paperback London: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0415318246 (paperback).
LEE HORSLEY, Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction. As hardback and paperback
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0199253269 (paperback)
FILMS TO BE SHOWN (if time permits)
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, The Hound of the Baskervilles
RAYMOND CHANDLER, The Big Sleep
AGATHA CHRISTIE, Death on the Nile
CHESTER HIMES, Cotton Comes to Harlem
TONY HILLERMAN, Dark Wind or Coyote Waits or A Thief of Time
WALTER MOSLEY, Devil in a Blue Dress
Professor of American Literature, Catholic University of Leuven|
Professor of American Literature, Catholic University of Leuven
| ||Professor of English and American Literature, Leyden University, Netherlands|
| ||Lecturer in English and American Literature, Utrecht University, Netherlands|
| ||Fellow, Teaching Associate, and Teaching Assistant, University of Massachusetts, USA|
| ||Interpreter, Commission of the European Economic Community, Brussels, Belgium|
| ||Primary, Secondary, and Polytechnic Teacher, Antwerp, Belgium|
University of Paderborn
|1971-1973 Associate Prof. for English Literature and Its Methodology, PH Kiel|
|1973-1979 Full Prof. for English and EFL-Teaching, PH Münster|
| || University of Illinois, US; Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, US; Eötvös Lorant University, Budapest;|
| || Fellow in Residence at the Claremont Colleges, Los Angeles, US; etc.|