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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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Jørgen Veisland



From the very beginning the twice stolen letter in Poe’s story reveals – at least indirectly - and yet suppresses its own hidden content which, so we may infer, has to do with a forbidden sexual act. The scene is Paris, France, the domicile of Poe’s detective, Dupin, and the supposedly incriminating letter is sent by an unknown or undisclosed addresser to an exalted person. In his “Seminar on the Purloined Letter” Jacques Lacan refers to this person as the “queen”; when the “king” enters the room, supposedly the royal boudoir, the queen leaves the letter out in the open, hoping it will remain unnoticed. Minister D_, an intriguing politician passionately pursuing advancement and power, shows up, cleverly spots the letter and appropriates it, leaving another, similar looking letter in its place. Clandestinely, the queen asks the prefect of police to recover the letter for her; he ransacks the Minister’s apartment but to no avail. Desperate, the prefect consults the detective Dupin, who manages to find the letter, deducing, cleverly, that the minister would leave the letter out in the open just like the queen. He discovers it casually placed in a card-rack at the Minister’s office, and the discovery by Dupin occurs while deep in conversation with Minister D_ Dupin has employed Poe’s favorite method, consisting of a combination of intuitive grasping and intellectual analysis. The combination of these faculties is interesting, for it is something Dupin and Minister D_ have in common; they are both analytically disposed...

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