This book is an appreciation of selected authors who make extensive use of humor in English detective/crime fiction. Works using humor as an amelioration of the serious have their heyday in the Golden Age of crime writing but they belong also to a long tradition. There is an identifiable lineage of humorous writing in crime fiction that ranges from mild wit to outright farce, burlesque, even slapstick. A mix of entertainment with instruction is a tradition in English letters. English crime fiction writers of the era circa 1913 to 1940 were raised in the mainstream literary tradition but turned their skills to detective fiction. And they are the humorists of the genre. This book is not an exhaustive study but an introduction into the best produced by the most capable and enjoyable authors. What the humorists seek is to surprise the reader by overturning their expectations using a repertoire of stylistic conceits and motifs (recurring incidents, devices, references). Humor has a liberating effect but is concerned too with “comic contrast” through ugliness and caricature. In crime fiction one effect is intellectual pleasure at solving (or attempting to solve) a puzzle. Another is entertainment but with serious undertones.
From its very inception, detective fiction has enjoyed a great popularity among the young and the old, the learned and the not so learned. By some unfortunate stroke of irony, its respect has not kept pace with its enormous popularity. For over half a century now, it has remained the bane of creative writing. In strict intellectual circles, it is very rare to find people talk defensively and interestingly about the genre. Yet Asong has chosen to do just that. He has stoutly defended the weak by putting up a good case for its continued existence. He has also shown how irresistible key elements of the genre are to even the best respected novelists. Finally he has demonstrated for the first time, how the genre has been domesticated by African writers of very great repute such as Ngugi, Sembene and Lessing. That he has been able to prove that these writers have used techniques of detective fiction is a significant broadening of the horizons for appreciating creative writing in Africa.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
A comprehensive writers' guide to the terminology used across the creative writing industries and in the major literary movements. Packed with practical tips for honing writing skills and identifying opportunities for publication and production, it also explains the workings of publishing houses, literary agencies and producing theatres.
In honor of the 70th birthday of Professor Douglas G. Greene, mystery genre scholar and publisher, this book offers 24 new essays and two reprinted classics on detective fiction by contributors around the world, including ten Edgar (Mystery Writers of America) winners and nominees. The essays cover a myriad of authors and books from more than a century, from J.S. Fletcher’s The Investigators, originally serialized in 1901, to P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley, published at the end of 2011. Subjects covered include detective fiction in the Edwardian era and the “Golden Age” between the two world wars; hard-boiled detective fiction; mysteries and intellectuals; and pastiches, short stories and radio plays.
The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels
Author: John Connolly
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Literary Collections
The world’s most beloved mystery writers celebrate their favorite mystery novels in this gorgeously wrought collection, featuring essays by Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs, Ian Rankin, and more. In the most ambitious anthology of its kind, the world’s leading mystery writers come together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written. In a series of personal essays that reveal as much about the authors and their own work as they do about the books that they love, over a hundred authors from twenty countries have created a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers. From Agatha Christie to Lee Child, from Edgar Allan Poe to P. D. James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlowe to Lord Peter Wimsey, Books to Die For brings together the best of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and for those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover. This is the one essential book for every reader who has ever finished a mystery novel and thought…I want more!
The humor of the Old South -- tales, almanac entries, turf reports, historical sketches, gentlemen's essays on outdoor sports, profiles of local characters -- flourished between 1830 and 1860. The genre's popularity and influence can be traced in the works of major southern writers such as William Faulkner, Erskine Caldwell, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, and Harry Crews, as well as in contemporary popular culture focusing on the rural South. This collection of essays includes some of the past twenty five years' best writing on the subject, as well as ten new works bringing fresh insights and original approaches to the subject. A number of the essays focus on well known humorists such as Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, Johnson Jones Hooper, William Tappan Thompson, and George Washington Harris, all of whom have long been recognized as key figures in Southwestern humor. Other chapters examine the origins of this early humor, in particular selected poems of William Henry Timrod and Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," which anticipate the subject matter, character types, structural elements, and motifs that would become part of the Southwestern tradition. Renditions of "Sleepy Hollow" were later echoed in sketches by William Tappan Thompson, Joseph Beckman Cobb, Orlando Benedict Mayer, Francis James Robinson, and William Gilmore Simms. Several essays also explore antebellum southern humor in the context of race and gender. This literary legacy left an indelible mark on the works of later writers such as Mark Twain and William Faulkner, whose works in a comic vein reflect affinities and connections to the rich lode of materials initially popularized by the Southwestern humorists.
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Nordic Noir on Page and Screen
Author: S. Peacock
Category: Performing Arts
Uniquely placed to explore the worldwide phenomenon of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the book offers the first full-length study of Larsson's work in both its written and filmed forms.
This is a feminist study of a recurring character type in classic British detective fiction by women - a woman who behaves like a Victorian gentleman. Exploring this character type leads to a new evaluation of the politics of classic detective fiction and the middlebrow novel as a whole.
Detective Fiction is a clear and compelling look at some ofthe best known, yet least-understood, characters and texts of themodern day. Charles J. Rzepka traces the history of the genre fromits modern beginnings in the early eighteenth century, with thecriminal broadsheets and ‘true’ crime stories of TheNewgate Calendar, to its present state of diversity, innovation,and worldwide diffusion, in a manner that students and scholarsalike will find readable and provocative. The book focuses particularly on the relationship of detectivefiction's emerging ‘puzzle-element’ to theinvestigative methods of the nascent historical sciences, and topopular cultural attitudes toward history, particularly in GreatBritain and the United States. In addition, the author examines thespecific impact of urbanization, the rise of the professions, brainscience, legal and social reform, war and economic dislocation,class-consciousness, and changing concepts of race and gender.Extended close readings of the classics of Detective Fiction inseveral ‘Casebook’ essays devoted to seminal works byPoe, Doyle, Sayers, and Chandler show in detail how the genre hasresponded to these influences over the last century and a half.They also serve to introduce students to a variety of currentcritical approaches. Undergraduate students of Detective and Crime Fiction and ofgenre fiction in general, will find this book essentialreading. ‘Cool, savvy, and utterly compelling: every page ofCharles J. Rzepka’s magnificent history of detective fictiondisplays the forensic panache of the true connoisseur of murder.Commanding an unrivalled breadth of reference and depth of insight,the book is a must-read for everyone interested in detectivefiction.’ Nicholas Roe, University of St Andrews ‘In this sustained analysis of the emergence anddevelopment of detective fiction in England and America, CharlesRzepka has produced both a compelling cultural history and askilful demonstration of what Poe aptly called “the moralactivity which disentangles”. It will become an indispensableguide to serious students of detective literature.’ Ronald R. Thomas, University of Puget Sound