Isolation and landscape in modern crime fiction

Stewart, R (2013) Isolation and landscape in modern crime fiction. In: Retold, resold, transformed: crime fiction in the modern era, 17 - 18 September 2013, University of Leeds.

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Through reading crime fiction, we are witness to cultures and landscapes that we have never experienced, depicted with a clarity rarely found in other genres. And at the forefront of these narratives, acting as tour guide, is the detective. Arthur Conan Doyle is widely regarded as the godfather of this genre; his creation of Sherlock Holmes is genre-defining. Indeed, many of Holmes’s characteristics and his model of reflective detection can be seen in the likes of Hercule Poirot and Reg Wexford. Looking at the detectives of Europe, our interest is not merely in the crime and the criminal, but also in the detective. Characters such as Ian Rankin’s Inspector John Rebus and Henning Mankell’s Inspector Kurt Wallander are not merely in place to solve cases: the narrative is driven by our interest in these men, often above a desire to know ‘whodunnit’. When examining how European detectives have changed throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century, it is evident that the focus on the individual is ever more prominent. This interest can be witnessed most clearly from a psychological view: we desire to understand these men. Isolation, both social and psychological, plays a significant part in understanding these Tartan and Nordic Noir detectives. This paper examines both Rebus and Wallander in reference to their social and psychological isolation and investigates the manner in which this is reflected in their vastly different landscapes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2014 16:58
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:36
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