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Crime Scenes

Modern Crime Fiction in an International Context


Urszula Elias and Agnieszka Sienkiewicz-Charlish

Crime Scenes: Modern Crime Fiction in an International Context examines the ways in which crime fiction has developed over several decades and in several national literary traditions. The volume covers a wide spectrum of current interests and topical concerns in the field of crime fiction studies. It introduces twenty-four original essays by an international group of scholars divided among three main sections: «Genres», «Authors and Texts» and «Topics». Issues discussed include genre syncretism, intertextuality, sexuality and gender, nationhood and globalization, postcolonial literature and ethical aspects of crime fiction.
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Nina Muždeka



To examine a work of literature from the perspective of genre proves to be a singular enterprise, states Tzvetan Todorov in his Introduction à la littérature fantastique (7). This task proves to be even more singular, surely, when the work in question is written by the notorious recluse of American postmodern fiction, Thomas Pynchon. The mystery plot as a narrative device and the chronotope of a quest permeate, to a lesser or greater degree, all of Pynchon’s novels. Hence, the inherent mechanisms of investigation at different levels need to be put into motion in order to fully portray the insecure and paranoid world of Pyn-chon’s fiction. His 2009 novel Inherent Vice, however, is the one overtly written in the manner of a detective genre, thus raising its detective narrative status from the realms of the undercover into the light of day. Still, Pynchon would not be what he undoubtedly is – an undisputed master of playful and complex narratives, a wise chronicler of a socially, culturally and politically poignant period in American history and a bit of a mischievous rogue when it comes to the issue of readers’ expectations – if he did not endeavour to defy the conventions of the detective genre and thwart the justified expectations of a detective fiction “buff” on several levels.

Discussing the typology of detective fiction in The Poetics of Prose, Todorov famously distinguished between the three categories of the genre: roman à énigme (or, roman policier classique, translated into English as the...

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