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Detective Fiction Panel at LSU's Mardi Gras Conference February 11-12, 2010
full name / name of organization:
LSU English Graduate Student Association
The detective has always been a central figure in crime narratives. Existing within a dizzying interplay of plots, themes, and recapitulations throughout the long and twisted history of the genre, crime solvers - be they private amateurs, police detectives, or in some other incarnation - have remained a vital force in keeping the crime narrative tradition alive. Indeed, it is often in the detective's resurfacing and shifting that the crime genre is revitalized. But how did this detective figure arise? In what context? And where is (s)he going?
The detective appears at least in the nineteenth century (with Poe in Dupin, with Gaboriau in Lecoq, and with Doyle in Holmes, for instance), but arguably even earlier in such works as Voltaire's Zadig. And with such murky beginnings, no end point seems to be in sight, either, given such reincarnations of the detective in Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49, and Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Along the way, of course, the detective has been invented and reinvented many times, in the guises of upper middle-class gentlemen (Poirot in Christie's novels); tough, loner idealists (Marlowe in Chandler's fiction); and violent misogynists (Hammer in Spillane's work).
We are interested in papers exploring how the detective figure shifts between media and narratives, including:
* how hardboiled detectives like Marlowe, Spade, Archer, and their ilk change the pattern set by Sherlock Holmes and his contemporaries
While the conference encourages papers on narratives of imitation and innovation, the session chair will entertain abstracts of all sorts concerning detective narratives.
General information on the conference can be found at http://mardigras2010.blogspot.com/