Advertisement

From the Metaphysical Detective Story to the Metacognitive Mystery Tale

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

Abstract

After a brief return to the origins of crime fiction, distinguishing the mystery tale from the detective story, this chapter addresses the different theories that have sought to account for alternatives to the traditional whodunit grouped under the banner of metaphysical detective fiction. It further justifies the terminological clarification which gives this book its title by acknowledging that the metacognitive dimension of such texts lies, in different but related ways, in their ability to question and subvert the characters’ motivations and their aspirations to closure.

Works Cited

  1. Bachelard, Gaston. 1994. The Poetics of Space. Trans. Maria Jolas. Boston: Beacon Press. Original edition, 1969.Google Scholar
  2. Bakhtin, Mikhaïl M. 1984. Rabelais and His World. Trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Original edition, 1968.Google Scholar
  3. Baudelaire, Charles. 1964. The Painter of Modern Life. In The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays, ed. Jonathan Mayne, 1–41. London: Phaidon Press.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1975. Le Spleen de Paris. Petits poèmes en prose. In Œuvres complètes, ed. Claude Pichois. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  5. Benjamin, Walter. 1973. Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. Trans. Harry Zohn. London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  6. Borges, Jorge Luis. 1999. The Detective Story. In Selected Non-Fictions, ed. Eliot Weinberger. New York: Penguin Books. Original edition, 1978.Google Scholar
  7. Burke, Edmund. 1958. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. London: University of Notre Dame Press. Original edition, 1757.Google Scholar
  8. Butler, Christopher. 2002. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Chesterton, Gilbert Keith. 1948. The Blue Cross. In The Father Brown Stories, 9–23. London et al.: Cassell and Company. Original edition, 1910.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2011. The Man Who Was Thursday, Penguin Classics. London: Penguin Books. Original edition, 1908.Google Scholar
  11. Cornis-Pope, Marcel. 2006. Postmodernism. In Modern North American Criticism and Theory, ed. Julian Wolfreys, 176–185. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Coverley, Merlin. 2010. Psychogeography. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials.Google Scholar
  13. Cunliffe, Marcus. 1954. The Literature of the United States, Pelican Books. Melbourne/London/Baltimore: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  14. Den Tandt, Christophe. 2014. Masses, Forces, and the Urban Sublime. In The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature, ed. Kevin R. McNamara, 126–137. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dickens, Charles. 1996. The Drunkard’s Death. In Hunted Down: The Detective Stories of Charles Dickens, ed. Peter Haining, 44–55. London/Chicago: Peter Owen. Original edition, 1836.Google Scholar
  16. Doyle, Arthur Conan. 1986. The Five Orange Pips. In Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, 331–350. New York: Bantam Books. Original edition, 1891.Google Scholar
  17. Dubois, Jacques. 2006. Le roman policier ou la modernité, Le texte et l’oeuvre. Ed. Henri Mitterand. Paris: Armand Colin. Original edition, 1992. Reprint, 2006.Google Scholar
  18. Ewert, Jeanne C. 1999. ‘A Thousand Other Mysteries’: Metaphysical Detection, Ontological Quests. In Detecting Texts: The Metaphysical Detective Story from Poe to Postmodernism, ed. Patricia Merivale and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, 179–198. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  19. Gluck, Mary. 2003. The Flâneur and the Aesthetic Appropriation of Urban Culture in Mid-19th-century Paris. Theory, Culture & Society 20 (5): 53–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. 1974. Young Goodman Brown. In Mosses from an Old Manse, 74–90. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. Original edition, 1846.Google Scholar
  21. Haycraft, Howard. 1942. Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story. London: Peter Davies.Google Scholar
  22. Holquist, Michael. 1971. Whodunit and Other Questions: Metaphysical Detective Stories in Post-war Fiction. New Literary History 3 (1): 135–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kayman, Martin A. 2003. The Short Story from Poe to Chesterton. In The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction, ed. Martin Priestman, 41–58. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kugler, Mathias. 1999. Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy as Postmodern Detective Fiction. Hamburg: Diplomarbeiten Agentur.Google Scholar
  25. Lee, Maurice S. 2010. Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849). In A Companion to Crime Fiction, ed. Charles J. Rzepka and Lee Horsley, 369–380. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Levin, Harry. 1958. The Power of Blackness: Hawthorne, Poe, Melville. Chicago/Athens/London: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Lyotard, Jean-François. 1984. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Trans. Geoff Bennington, Brian Massumi, and Régis Durand. Vol. 10. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Original edition, 1979.Google Scholar
  28. Marcus, Laura. 2003. Detection and Literary Fiction. In The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction, ed. Martin Priestman, 245–267. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McHale, Brian. 1987. Postmodernist Fiction. New York/London: Methuen.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Merivale, Patricia. 1967. The Flaunting of Artifice in Vladimir Nabokov and Jorge Luis Borges. Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 8 (2): 294–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Merivale, Patricia, and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney. 1999. The Game’s Afoot: On the Trail of the Metaphysical Detective Story. In Detecting Texts: The Metaphysical Detective Story from Poe to Postmodernism, ed. Patricia Merivale and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, 1–24. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  32. Messac, Régis. 1929. Le “Detective novel” et l’influence de la pensée scientifique. Paris: Honoré Champion.Google Scholar
  33. Miles, Malcolm. 2014. Cities of the Avant-Garde. In The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature, ed. Kevin R. McNamara, 153–162. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nealon, Jeffrey T. 1999. Work of the Detective, Work of the Writer: Auster’s City of Glass. In Detecting Texts: The Metaphysical Detective Story from Poe to Postmodernism, ed. Patricia Merivale and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  35. Nesci, Catherine. 2014. Memory, Desire, Lyric: The Flâneur. In The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature, ed. Kevin R. McNamara, 69–84. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Poe, Edgar Allan. 1846. Letter to Phillip P. Cooke. The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore. http://www.eapoe.org/works/letters/p4608090.htm. Accessed 28 Jan 2016.
  37. ———. 1850. The Philosophy of Composition. The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore. http://www.eapoe.org/works/essays/philcmpb.htm. Accessed 01 Feb 2016.
  38. ———. 1975a. The Man of the Crowd. In The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 475–481. New York: Vintage Books. Original edition, 1840.Google Scholar
  39. ———. 1975b. The Murders in the Rue Morgue. In The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Vintage Books. Original edition, 1841.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 1975c. The Purloined Letter. In The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 208–222. New York: Vintage Books. Original edition, 1844.Google Scholar
  41. Priestman, Martin. 2003. Introduction: Crime Fiction and Detective Fiction. In The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction, ed. Martin Priestman, 1–6. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rachman, Stephen. 2010. Poe and the Origins of Detective Fiction. In The Cambridge Companion to American Crime Fiction, ed. Catherine Ross Nickerson, 17–28. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Segal, Eyal. 2010. Closure in Detective Fiction. Poetics Today 31 (2): 153–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shaw, Philip. 2006. The Sublime. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Solnit, Rebecca. 2000. Wanderlust: A History of Walking. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  46. Spanos, William V. 1972. The Detective and the Boundary: Some Notes on the Postmodern Literary Imagination. Boundary 2 1 (1): 147–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Todorov, Tzvetan. 1990. Genres in Discourse. Trans. Catherine Porter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations