×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

It Didn't Mean Anything: A Psychoanalytic Reading of American Detective Fiction
     

It Didn't Mean Anything: A Psychoanalytic Reading of American Detective Fiction

by Alexander N. Howe
 

This critical study of American detective fiction examines the history and development of the detective genre through the lens of psychoanalysis. Applying the ideas of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the author identifies and categorizes popular works according to the fictional protagonist's hysteria, obsessive neurosis, perversion or psychosis.

The first

Overview

This critical study of American detective fiction examines the history and development of the detective genre through the lens of psychoanalysis. Applying the ideas of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the author identifies and categorizes popular works according to the fictional protagonist's hysteria, obsessive neurosis, perversion or psychosis.

The first chapter identifies several instances of hysteria within the fiction of two of the genre's pioneers, Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. Chapter Two traces the development of the hard-boiled detective's code of honor through the works of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Mickey Spillane, identifying the often-paradoxical nature of this code and its origins in obsessive neurosis. Chapter Three analyzes the anti-detective fiction of Philip K. Dick in terms of paranoid psychosis, and the final chapter returns to the question of hysteria, taking up the female hard-boiled detectives of author Marcia Muller.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
recommended

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786434541
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
03/03/2008
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

Meet the Author

Alexander N. Howe is an assistant professor of English at the University of the District of Columbia. He has written on Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, and Marcia Muller. He lives in Wheaton, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews