CFP: Eudora Welty and Detective Fiction (2/1/07; MLA '07)

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Special Session Proposal:

In his essay =93The Writer as Detective Hero,=94 Ross Macdonald links
the writer of detective fiction with his detective character, noting
that detectives must have an =93intelligent humaneness, an interest in
other people transcending their interest in themselves, and a
toughness of mind which enables them to face human weaknesses,
including their own with open eyes.=94=A0 And plot in detective fiction
he identifies =93as a vehicle of meaning,=94 adding that =93it should be as
complex as contemporary life, but balanced enough to say true things
about it.=A0 The surprise with which a detective novel concludes should
set up tragic vibrations which run backward through the entire

  It is no wonder that Eudora Welty loved Macdonald=92s novels and came
to love the man himself.=A0 His theory of detective fiction and the
values he wanted it to embody were closely allied to her own views of
fiction more generally.=A0 And Welty voraciously read detective stories
of many sorts.=A0 In addition to Macdonald, John Buchan, Agatha
Christie, John Dickson Carr, Nicholas Blake, Ngaio Marsh, Rex Stout,
Elizabeth Daly, Georges Simenon, Dick Francis, and Tony Hillerman
were among her favorites writers in the genre.=A0=A0 Nevertheless, almost
nothing has been written about the impact detective fiction may have
had upon Welty=92s work.=A0 This MLA session will attempt to rectify that

Abstracts of papers about Welty and any aspect of detective fiction
should be sent to Suzanne Marrs, Welty Foundation Scholar-in-Residence,
Millsaps College, Jackson, MS 39210, by February 1, 2007.

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Received on Fri Aug 04 2006 - 09:25:42 EDT

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