Detecting Texts: The Metaphysical Detective Story from Poe to Postmodernismby Patricia Merivale
Pub. Date: 01/28/1999
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Although readers of detective fiction ordinarily expect to learn the mystery's solution at the end, there is another kind of detective story—the history of which encompasses writers as diverse as Poe, Borges, Robbe-Grillet, Auster, and Stephen King—that ends with a question rather than an answer. The detective not only fails to solve the crime, but also… See more details below
Although readers of detective fiction ordinarily expect to learn the mystery's solution at the end, there is another kind of detective story—the history of which encompasses writers as diverse as Poe, Borges, Robbe-Grillet, Auster, and Stephen King—that ends with a question rather than an answer. The detective not only fails to solve the crime, but also confronts insoluble mysteries of interpretation and identity. As the contributors to Detecting Texts contend, such stories belong to a distinct genre, the "metaphysical detective story," in which the detective hero's inability to interpret the mystery inevitably casts doubt on the reader's similar attempt to make sense of the text and the world.
Detecting Texts includes an introduction by the editors that defines the metaphysical detective story and traces its history from Poe's classic tales to today's postmodernist experiments. In addition to the editors, contributors include Stephen Bernstein, Joel Black, John T. Irwin, Jeffrey T. Nealon, and others.
- University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 9.00(d)
Table of Contents
|The Game's Afoot: On the Trail of the Metaphysical Detective Story||1|
|Armchair Detecting, or the Corpus in the Library|
|1||Mysteries We Reread, Mysteries of Rereading: Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story||27|
|2||Borges's Library of Forking Paths||55|
|3||(De)feats of Detection: The Spurious Key Text from Poe to Eco||75|
|4||Gumshoe Gothics: Poe's "The Man of the Crowd" and His Followers||101|
|5||Work of the Detective, Work of the Writer: Auster's City of Glass||117|
|6||"The Question Is the Story Itself": Postmodernism and Intertextuality in Auster's New York Trilogy||134|
|Postmortem: Modern and Postmodern|
|7||Reader-Investigators in the Post-Nouveau Roman: Lahougue, Peeters, and Perec||157|
|8||"A Thousand Other Mysteries": Metaphysical Detection, Ontological Quests||179|
|9||Postmodernism and the Monstrous Criminal: In Robbe-Grillet's Investigative Cell||199|
|10||Detecting Identity in Time and Space: Modiano's Rue des Boutiques Obscures and Tabucchi's Il Filo dell'orizzonte||217|
|11||"Premeditated Crimes": The Dis-Solution of Detective Fiction in Gombrowicz's Works||231|
|12||"Subject-Cases" and "Book-Cases": Impostures and Forgeries from Poe to Auster||247|
|In Place of an Ending|
|Suggestions for Further Reading||273|
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