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Eng 193 First week

by: Emilie Notetaker

Eng 193 First week Eng 193

Emilie Notetaker

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About this Document

Covers the basics of the Detective Ficiton genre. Also reviews Edgar Allen Poe's "The Murders of the Rue Morgue," and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's bio.
Detective Fiction
Class Notes
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emilie Notetaker on Thursday August 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Eng 193 at University of California Santa Barbara taught by Saylor in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Detective Fiction in English at University of California Santa Barbara.


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Date Created: 08/04/16
Topic____________________ Class: Eng 193 ________________________ _ Date: 6/20 Notes: Questions/Main Ideas: Genre Characteristics (1) The Detective - (Sherlock, Sarah Coenig) Some hero that we can rely on (2) The Crime - (the mystery) (3) The Investigation - process to get to the final revelation (4) The Solution - (?) the final revelation Course Trajectory • THE “WHODUNIT” (1841-1900s)- cases always wrap up nicely, clues always add up, order is always restored • NOIR (begins in 1930s) - world affected by war, obsessed with power, affects of violence, harsh world, harsh crimes, harsh detectives • TRUE CRIME (begins in 1960s) - real cases narrated by authors/reporters, “truth” in facts, reporting, but also in psychological comprehension, makes “sense” of real violence (makes it safe?) Complications • The non-Western Detective - Chester Himes (The African-American Literary tradition), Louis Owens (The Native American literary tradition) • Different ways of gaining knowledge, different ways of “solving” cases • Not necessarily “rewrites” of the same script, but a different script all together Serial • Spin-off of The American Life • Co-created and co-produced by host Sarah Koenig and Julie Synder • Fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads • Season 1 follows investigation into the 1999 murder of Have Min Lee in Baltimore, Maryland. Her ex- boyfriend, Adrian Syed, was arrested and convicted of the murder and is currently serving a life sentence • In each episode, Koenig investigates a different portion of the case, interviews old and new witnesses, retraces steps Todorov’s “Typology of Detective Fiction” (1971) • “Detective fiction has its norms; to “develop” them is also to disappoint them: to “improve upon” detective fiction is to write “literature,” not detective fiction. The whodunnit par excellence is not the one which transgresses the rules of the genre, but the one which conforms to them” • THREE TYPES OF DETECTION FICTION • The “whodunit” • the “thriller” • the “suspense novel” - in-between whodunit and thriller Summary: Topic____________________ Class: Eng 193 ________________________ _ Date: 6/21 Questions/Main Ideas: Notes: Edgar Allan Poe • 1809-1849 • Unity of Effect - believed that every piece of an artwork contributes to its overall effect on the reader (tone, theme, setting, character, etc.) “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841) • First detective story: tale of “ratiocination” • C. Auguste Dupin, non-professional detective living in France • Unnamed narrator and accomplice • “The mental features discoursed of as the analytical, are, in themselves, but little susceptible of analysis. We appreciate them only in their efforts.” • “The faculty of the re-solution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study, and especially by that highest branch of it which, unjustly, and merely on account of its retrograde operations, has been called, as if par excellence, analysis. Yet to calculate is not in itself to analyze.” • Chess vs Checkers • “The analytical power should not be confounded with simple ingenuity, for while the analyst is necessarily ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkable incapable of analysis.” • “Between ingenuity and the analytic ability there exists a difference far greater, indeed, than that between the fancy and…” • Madam L’Espanaye and her dater Camille found murdered in the fourth story of their house in the rue morgue • Daughter’s corpse was thrust up the chimney, head down • EVIDENCE: mother and daughter are recluses, crowd gathers at house as shrieks emanate from house, two voices heard • One of the first points he makes is: how did they get in and how did they get out? • The second window is how he got in because the nail was loose • AN OURANG-OUTANG DID IT!! • MIC DROP TO THE PREFECT Arthur Conan Doyle • 1839-1930 • Publishes first Holmes story in 1887 • 1893- “The Final Problem” (Death of Holmes), 1903 - “The Adventure of the Empty House” (Holmes returns) • Sherlock Holmes • “a scientific detective who solved cases on his own merits ad not through the folly of the criminal” - Doyle • Modeled after former university teacher • cocaine, morphine addict • Dr. John H Watson • Friend, biographer, partner, foil • “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” (1903) • A “Save the cat” moment when Holmes deducts that he didn’t invest in an affair with Thurston when he observes that he has chalk on the grooves of his hand • Holmes receives drawings of dancing men for his case Summary: Topic: Class: English 193: Detective Fiction Serial, TheAdventure of the Dancing Men (continued), The Date: 6/22/16 Musgrave Ritual Questions/Main Ideas: Notes: The point of listening to the * SERIAL: Season One: Episode 1: TheAlibi podcast in class was to show * We listened to two boys recount their Friday nights and both of how unreliable memory can them were unable to give a clear description be. ie. It’s hard to remember what you did six weeks ago Why does Sherlock think that CONTINUING “THEADVENTURE OF THE DANCING MEN”… the dancing men are “grotesque?” That’s kind of a “It is certainly rather a curious production,” said Holmes. “At first dramatic way of describing it. sight it would appear to be some childish prank. It consists of a number of absurd little figures dancing across the paper upon which they are drawn. Why should you attribute any importance to so grotesque an object,” - by Holmes calling it “grotesque” it shows that he’s not fond of things that seem meaningless * MR. CUBBIT (husband of Elsie Cubbit) * Mr. Cubbit (the man who comes to Holmes to present the dancing men figures) is described as “… a fine creature, this man of the old English soil- simple, straight, and gentle, with his great earnest blue eyes and broad, comely face. His love for his wife and his trust in her shone in his features.” - this is all to show that Mr. Cubitt is a pretty good guy - emphasis on the fact that he’s a proud english man - This conventional theory * Mr. Cubitt is shot and killed and Mrs. Cubitt is in a coma from a is a lot like that Dupin Chess self-inflicted gunshot vs. Checkers paragraphs at the * Conventional Theory: Mrs. Cubitt kills her husband than shoots beginning of “The Murders in herself the Rue Morgue” We can’t just - they believed this because the window was locked from jump to conclusions without the inside, two bullets, etc. first looking at all of the facts step by step. * gutted: a candle that is * BREAKDOWN OF HOW SHERLOCK HOLMES WASABLE TO burned down until its center SOLVE THE CASE is hollow * “How did you find it?” “I looked for it,” (In reference to Sherlock Is Sherlock some sort of Holmes finding the third bullet outside the locked window) * super human detective? Or could Watson be just as * OBSERVATIONS: (1) the dancing men messages (2) Cubbits are a great? (Maybe he’s not) “devoted couple” (3) One shot was louder than the other, this suggests that there were two gun shots at the same time (4) smell of powder in the house (5) Window is shut and locked (6) Money in Elsie’s handbag (7) Third bullet (8) Candles not gutted (9) Third casing is outside * HOLMES METHOD * He deciphers the dancing men by finding the letter ‘e’first (it’s the most common in the alphabet * He also uses semiotics: ▯ * this description of Slaney isABE SLANEY less flattering than Mr. Described as “tall, handsome, swarthy fellow,… flannel… and a * Cubbit’s great hooked nose, and flourishing a can as he walked. He swaggered up a path as if the place beloved to him, and we heard his loud, confident peal at the bell.” American * * This description may be what Doyle views as the averageAmerican man * This description might ENDING = ORDER RESTORED suggest that order is restored * The Dancing Men now make sense when there is British rule * Slaney showed mercy, but inAmerica (see ya later, loser) rather thanAmerican rule. * Mrs. Cubitt devotes “her whole life to the care of the poor and to This idea is echoed in slave the administration of her husband’s estate.” owners and the idea that owners can “protect” their property. “THEADVENTURE OF THE MISGAVE RITUAL” (1893) * Sherlock describes an earlier story to Watson, the story takes place at the beginning of his career as a detective * Double-framed narrative: a story within a story * The importance of reading? THE RITUAL * Diff types of reading: (1) * a coming of age ritual that everyone has to do in the Musgrave The Text: Musgrave Ritual family, seemingly has no meaning (2) Space: The oak, the elm * “Whose was it?” “His who is gone.” “Who shall have it?”etc.… (3) Objects: The old metal * These are actually directions to where the crown is being hidden and pebbles (4) Human * Someone has been spying on Musgrave, but he is relieved when he emotions: Brunton and finds out the thing people have been spying on is the Musgrave Ritual Rachel Howells which he thinks nothing of * Holmes shows the HOLMES METHOD II (MUSGRAVE STYLE) importance of close reading in * There’s no way that they could have opened that passageway by the actual Musgrave Ritual. If themselves, they needed help, that’s why he’s able to come to the people looked into what it conclusion that the maid helped meant, then maybe they * What caused the Old Crown of England to get lost? Holmes would’ve known where the surmises that there must have been some break in information in crown is order for the Musgrave ritual to have no meaning. * WHAT CAUSED THIS TO BEASUCCESS? * There are still loose ends: Rachel Howes is still missing, etc. * Holmes feels satisfied just in that he solved the case Summary: In lecture, we first reviewed the first episode of Serial. The point of reviewing this was to establish that memory is pretty unreliable. Then we finished reviewing TheAdventure of the Dancing Men. Some themes: the American vs. the British man’s description, the conventional theory vs. close analysis and deduction, and the feeling of “order being restored” at the end of Doyle’s stories Finally, we reviewed The Musgrave Ritual. Some themes: the importance of reading, double framed story, and the satisfaction that Holmes feels with solving the case despite their being some loose ends. Topic: Class: Eng 193: Detective Fiction The Musgrave Ritual, Witness for the Prosecution, Noir Date: 6/23 Notes: Questions/Main Ideas: THE MUSGRAVE RITUAL * -Sherlock is cold and calculating while Watson makes good emotional support * AGATHACHRISTIE - 1890-1976 - The best-selling novelist of all time (behind shakespeare and the bible) - First book: The MysteriousAffair at Styles (1920) - Two Main Detectives: Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot - Christie trademarks: mysteries involving large groups of people with secrets, the final revelation taking place in the parlor * Is Mr. Mayherne our WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION detective? Or is it someone * Originally published as “Traitor Hands” else? Romaine? * Made into a play in 1953 with different ending * Mayherne observes the - changes it so that it is more satisfying. This insinuates that facts, but doesn’t piece it not even Christie could deal with how different and weird the ending together is in Witness for the Prosecution * Mr. Mayherne: lawyer assigned to defend Leonard Vole, who is accused of murdering Emily French, old lady who is very wealthy * Mr. Mayherne is described in contradictions in the beginning of the novel compared to the way he acts through out the novel - “By no means a fool” but he is lead astray often times in the story * Compared to Musgrave Ritual, Christie’s story is more about strong narratives rather than the process * Mayherne is kind of like theMAYHERNE’S PROCESS guy that Dupin disses at the * Mayherne’s process is a “how not to be a detective” process end of The Murders of Rue * He looks at the other side’s argument and forms his arguments Morgue: he chooses to deny from that/ he’s not really concerned with what the truth is what is, and believes what is * Mayherne is not concerned with the innocence of his client not * We can tell that Vole is guilt because of several things: (1) he hesitates at the question of why he never brought his wife to see French (2) the author uses “hotly” (an adverb) to describe how Vole answers the question of if he knew about the will of Emily French (3) he gets very defensive about not knowing about the will * “I believe in your innocence in spite of the multitude of facts arrayed against you…” - This quote shows that Mayherne will not be the detective in this novel * Has our detective arrived? MRS. VOLE * Descriptions are always * Described as “… she was not English… very slight movement of important the hands that was distinctly foreign.Astrange woman, very quiet,” * Can’t trust anyone who’s * Mr. Mayherne’s ignorance does not allow him to see that Mrs. Vole not English in Detective actually playing him fiction * says that her husband is guilty and that they are not married * hesitation is a clue throug* threatens to testify him in court out the book saying that something’s off * Christie’s yelling ROMAINE HEILGER “THIS IS OUR * very good at the performance aspect detecting, movement in her DETECTIVE!” with all face * hands to her face these descriptions * principal witness for the prosecution * basically is playing everyone, very good at grabbing the audiences attention, and she knows what she wants to hear THE FINAL REVEAL * starts thinking about how people have these habits, and then he finally realizes something about the clenching hands * Romaine’s an actress and knows how to manipulate an audience * Mr. Mayherne was guilty THE ENTIRE TIME NOIR * “Might makes right” Noir is all about power * WWI (1914 - 1918) the time of Noir, war coming home * The idea of “old, English Soil” falls apart, peripheral violence in Europe * post-war trauma, organized crime, corruption in politics, skepticism of systems of power, and financial downturn * How do we survive in this new world? WE NEED MR. HARDBOILED 1. Independent Outsider * Where’s Watson? * Jeffersonian individualism - self-reliant 2. Cynical about motives and power structure * Moneyed power rule 3. Expects and uses force - tough as hell * this is completely differen* Chess, not Checkers then Dupin and Christie * Marlowe: “It’s a problem… not a game,” Summary: We first reviewed a little bit of Musgrave Ritual and who Watson is to Holmes. We then reviewedAgatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, and the main themes of that story were: (1) untrustworthy narrator (2) observation and analysis is key (3) Mr. Mayherne always jumps to conclusions where Romaine is the real detective in our detective fiction novel (4) the weirdness of that ending We then touched on Noir, and the elements that make up that type of narrative compared to the “whodunnit.”Also, Chandler and Christie have some sort of feud. Christie being in favor of Whodunnits, Chandler being in favor of Noirs.


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