The Imagination of Evil: Detective Fiction and the Modern World

The Imagination of Evil: Detective Fiction and the Modern World

by Mary Evans


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From its growth in Europe in the nineteenth century, detective fiction has developed into one of the most popular genres of literature and popular culture more widely.
In this monograph, Mary Evans examines detective fiction and its complex relationship to the modern and to modernity. She focuses on two key themes: the moral relationship of detection (and the detective) to a particular social world and the attempt to restore and even improve the social world that has been threatened and fractured by a crime, usually that of murder. It is a characteristic of much detective fiction that the detective, the pursuer, is a social outsider: this status creates a complex web of relationships between detective, institutional life and dominant and subversive moralities. Evans questions who and what the detective stands for and suggests that the answer challenges many of our assumptions about the relationship between various moralities in the modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441179685
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 12/29/2011
Series: Continuum Literary Studies , #202
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

Mary Evans is Visiting Fellow at the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics, UK.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction: Crime Writing 1

Chapter 1 Making Crime 10

Chapter 2 The Making of the Detective 24

Chapter 3 Detecting the Modern 53

Chapter 4 Illegal and Immoral 76

Chapter 5 Are the Times a' Changing? 105

Chapter 6 The Dream That Failed 135

Chapter 7 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' 15

Notes 169

Bibliography 176

Index 183

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