• Antoine Dechêne
Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)


The book’s Introduction seeks to account for a shift in terminology from the metaphysical detective story to the metacognitive mystery tale. Indeed, many texts that have been classified by critics as metaphysical detective stories lack a metaphysical dimension per se (the term was inspired by Chesterton’s Father Brown tales) and a proper detective, that is, a professional investigator. I argue that the main issue with the texts discussed here is related to the question of what one can know, to the possibility and stability of reliable knowledge. This section also introduces the motifs of the flâneur and the ungraspable urban world, the grotesque, and the sublime which are narrative tropes that run through all the chapters of this book. They bind them together while allowing the contextual and formal specificities of each text to produce distinct transversal intertextual echoes.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Dechêne
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium

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