RARA-AVIS: Re: half-time job for mystery novelist

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 19 Nov 2008

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, DJ-Anonyme@... wrote:
    > Lawrence wrote:
    > "I thought I'd mention a book I own called "The Poetics of Murder," an
    > anthology of essays by such academic lights as Jacques Lacan, Umberto
    > Eco, and Roland Barthes."
    > And Frederic Jameson has written at least two articles on Raymond
    > Chandler.

    The excellent critics Tzvetan Todorov and Franco Moretti have also written about crime fiction. Both (Moretti, less so) seem to be acquainted only with a small fraction of crime fiction. They tend to think that crime fiction is a type of mechanical puzzle. They are well behind the times... many decades behind the times. That is like considering that classical music ended with the Baroque period, or jazz with the New Orleans style!

    Empirically, it seems that if you say "mystery", people think of Holmes and Christie first, not Chandler, Hammett, Westlake, Leonard, etc. But when the critics use such a small sample to judge a genre, there is trouble. What do Cutter and Bone or Freaky Deaky have to do with Holmes and Christie? Nothing, basically.



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