This section contains the readings for the course, which are also presented by session.
|1||High Art, Hermenutics, Detection, and Suspense |
Modes: Oedipus and Theseus
Typology: The Hidden Treasure, The Locked Room, the Detective-as-Suspect
|Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. |
Film: The Moonstone. Directed by Paddy Russell. 1972.
|2||Nature and Hieroglyphics |
Cryptography as Process and as Metaphor
|Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "Nature." (Read the essay, not the entire work.) |
Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Raven." In Tales of Terror and Detection.
Haycraft, Howard. Murder for Pleasure. New York, NY: Appleton-Century Company, 1941.
Self-Consciousness as Method and Disguise
Materialism, Claustrophobic Homes, Locked Rooms
|Poe, Edgar Allen. "Murders in the Rue Morgue (PDF)," "The Purloined Letter," "The Raven," and "The Philosophy of Composition." In Tales of Terror and Detection. |
Lacan, Jacques. "Seminar on 'The Purloined Letter.'" Translated by Jeffrey Mehlman. Yale French Studies 48, French Freud: Structural Studies in Psychoanalysis (1972): 5-9.
|4||Materialism and Identity |
The Advantages of Empiricism are the Disadvantages of Empiricism
Why Conan Doyle Killed Off Holmes to Write about Victorian Faeries
|Doyle, Arthur Conan. "A Scandal in Bohemia," "Adventure of the Speckled Band," "Adventure of the Dancing Men," "Five Orange Pips," "The Musgrave Ritual," and "The Final Problem." In Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories.|
|5||Self and Self-Revelation |
|Browning, Robert. "The Bishop orders His Tomb," "My Last Duchess," "Porphyria's Lover," "Soliloquy in a Spanish Cloister." In My Last Duchess and Other Poems. |
Porter, Dennis. "Backward Construction and the Art of Suspense." In Pursuit of Crime. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981. ISBN: 0300027222.
|6||The Position of the Observer |
Small Town, Country House, Sexual Demimonde, Moving Train
|Christie, Agatha. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. |
Wilson, Edmund. "Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?" Originally published in New Yorker, January 20, 1945.
Grossvogel, David. "Agatha Christie: Containment of the Unknown." In Mystery and Its Fictions: From Oedipus to Agatha Christie. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979. ISBN: 0801822017.
|7||McGuffins, Clewes, Histories |
The Detective as Knight Errant
Film Noir as Style and as Moral Orientation
|Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. |
Film: The Maltese Falcon. Directed by John Huston. 1941.
Chandler, Raymond. "The Simple Art of Murder." Originally published in Atlantic Monthly, December, 1945.
|8||Deep Focus |
Politics and Representation
Does Rosebud Even Matter?
|Film: Citizen Kane. Directed by Orson Welles. 1941. |
Stowe, William. "From Semiotics to Hermeneutics: Modes of Detection in Doyle and Chandler." In Poetics of Murder: Detective Fiction and Literary Theory. Edited by Glenn Most and William Stowe. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1983, pp. 366-84. ISBN: 0156723123.
|9||Doubling and the Mind-Body Nexus |
The Double-Mirror Paradigm of Self-Consciousness
Evidence, Clues, Solution: Elusive Pleasures
| Borges, Jorge Luis. "The Garden of Forking Paths," "Death and the Compass," and "Ibn Hakkam al-Bokhari, Dead in his Labyrinth." In Collected Fictions. Translated by Andrew Hurley. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1999. ISBN: 0140286802. |
———. "Kafka and His Precursors." In Labyrinths: Selected Short Stories and Other Writings. New York, NY: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1964. ISBN: 0811200124.
|10||Guilt and Transference |
The Pleasure of Looking through Other People's Windows
The Secret in the Marsh: Coming Clean about Secrets
|Film: Psycho. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 1960. |
Barthes, Roland. "Delay and the Hermeneutic Sentence." In Poetics of Murder: Detective Fiction and Literary Theory. Edited by Glenn Most and William Stowe. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1983. ISBN: 0156723123. Also published in: Barthes, Roland. "Sarrasine, by Honoré de Balzac." In Appendices of S/Z: An Essay. Translated by Richard Miller. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 1974. ISBN: 0374521670.
|11||The Hidden Jewels |
Doubling and Narcissism
"The Mystery to a Solution"
|Nabokov, Vladimir. Pale Fire.|