Detective Fiction Criticism: Origins And Influences - Essay

Patricia Merivale (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Merivale, Patricia. “Gumshoe Gothics: ‘The Man of the Crowd’ and His Followers.” In Narrative Ironies, edited by Raymond A. Prier and Gerald Gillespie, pp. 163-79. Atlanta, Ga.: Rodopi, 1997.

[In the following essay, Merivale examines Edgar Allan Poe's “The Man of the Crowd” as a precursor to metaphysical, or postmodern, detective fiction.]

We, reading the detective novel, are an invention of Edgar Allan Poe.

Borges, “The Detective Story,” 21

“An excellent idea, I think, to start from a dead body” said Kobo Abe (Inter Ice Age 4, 47) and Hubert Aquin, similarly,...

(The entire section is 6775 words.)

Tony Magistrale and Sidney Poger (essay date 1999)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Magistrale, Tony, and Sidney Poger. “Originating Lines: The Importance of Poe.” In Poe's Children: Connections between Tales of Terror and Detection, pp. 11-28. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1999.

[In the following essay, Magistrale and Poger define Edgar Allan Poe as a quintessentially Romantic writer whose detective stories are best understood when examined within the context of his tales of horror.]

Poe's was a master's vision of the terror that stalks about and within us, and the worm that writhes and slavers in the hideously close abyss.

(Lovecraft 54)

...

(The entire section is 9271 words.)

Tony Magistrale and Sidney Poger (essay date 1999)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Magistrale, Tony, and Sidney Poger. “Poe's Victorian Disguises: The Hound of the Baskervilles and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” In Poe's Children: Connections between Tales of Terror and Detection, pp. 45-55. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1999.

[In the following essay, Magistrale and Poger argue that works such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ”The Hound of the Baskervilles” and Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde reflect Edgar Allan Poe's conception of the human psyche as the ultimate mystery.]

Jekyll and Hyde is a pre-Jungian fable, a vivid illustration of the Shadow side of a decent...

(The entire section is 5796 words.)

Caroline Reitz (essay date spring 2000)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Reitz, Caroline. “Bad Cop/Good Cop: Godwin, Mill and the Imperial Origins of the English Detective.” Novel 33, no. 2 (spring 2000): 175-95.

[In the following essay, Reitz asserts that the detective genre, as exemplified by William Godwin's novel Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794), which is generally regarded as the earliest detective novel, reflects the crisis of Britain's imperialist culture.]

Our understanding of detective fiction as a strictly domestic genre takes its cue from the standard line of histories of the English police: English police embody, from their beginning, such national values as mild justice and...

(The entire section is 10426 words.)