Lecture Course Fall 2010 Beginning with nineteenth century predecessors (especially the classical detective novel), we will cover modern American crime narratives, emphasizing the hard-boiled and noir fiction that flourished between the Jazz Age and the Cold War as well as the police procedural and the true crime novel. Popular texts will be approached as examples of craft art which have provided paradigms for major American authors, including William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Norman Mailer. Sources will include films such as The Godfather, Blade Runner, and The Dark Knight.
Week 1 (for Th. Sept. 2) I. Poe’s Dupin: the Detective and the Irrational “Murders in the Rue Morgue”
“The Purloined Letter”
Reynolds, selections from Beneath the American Renaissance
Day, “The Gothic and the Creation of the Detective,” In the Circles of Fear and Desire Week 2 (for Sept. 7, 9) II. The Classical Detective Story: Imitation and Parody Conan Doyle, “The Musgrave Ritual,” “Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Final Problem”
Mark Twain, “A Double-Barreled Detective Story”
Ellery Queen, “The Mad Tea Party”
Moretti, “Clues,” from Signs Taken for Wonders
S. S. Van Dine, “Twenty Rules for Writing Mystery Stories”
__________________________________________ Requirements:Weekly readings, emailed questions, online discussion forum (40% of your grade), and, for a final project (60% of your grade),
Either A) Create your own crime literature/short film, and include a 3-5 page critical essay
analyzing it within a formal and historical tradition.
or B) A 12 page essay, including 4 primary and secondary sources.
Assignment due on December 13 at 5pm EST; proposal due November 18 at 5pm EST.
[Please see course website for more details on requirements and the assignment]
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