Body, Letter, and Voice

Constructing Knowledge in Detective Fiction

by Maria Plochocki (Author)
Thesis 216 Pages
Series: Literary and Cultural Theory, Volume 29


The author treats, in historical and philosophical terms, the contributions of the traditionally marginalized genre of detective fiction to epistemology: how detective fiction not only traces the progression of knowledge and its discovery, as has been the traditional model for understanding this genre, but, in fact, constructs it through narrative. Particular focus is on Colin Dexter, creator of the Inspector Morse character and series. This work also links detective fiction to more legitimate, accepted realms of literature and criticism: semiotics (the reading of clues, with the body as a major one); epistolary fiction, long hailed as an early form of the modern novel; and heteroglossia, an important aspect of Marxist theory, here linked to the power struggles and imbalances produced by the pursuit and construction of knowledge.


ISBN (Softcover)
Epistolary fiction Detective fiction Epistemology Semiotics Heteroglossia
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 213 pp.

Biographical notes

Maria Plochocki (Author)

The Author: Maria Plochocki holds a Doctor of Arts degree in English from St. John’s University in New York. Currently, she serves as a Lecturer in the Department of English at Bergen Community College (USA). Her research interests, besides detective fiction, include the Gothic women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth century, and literary theory.


Title: Body, Letter, and Voice