UPDATE: Aesthetics and Victorian/Edwardian Detective Fiction (5/21/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Paul Fox
contact email: 

In recent years there has been a growing critical interest in the literary detective, and a number of recent studies have examined the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century sleuth from a variety of theoretical perspectives: Foucauldian, feminist, post-colonial and post-structuralist. Cultural historians examine the period and the detective in terms of empire, gender, social authority and scientific developments in criminology. Little is said of the relationship between late Victorian and Edwardian detective fiction in terms of style, the art of detection and the question of contemporary aesthetic theory.
 Please send essays for a book collection which examines detective/mystery fiction in terms of form, style and aestheticism: the basic relationship between the detective's art and the contemporary aesthetic culture. The period under study would be 1878 (the date of the publication of R. L. Stevenson's The Suicide Club) to 1911 (the publication date of G. K. Chesterton's first Father Brown collection.) This period covers such mystery writers as Shiel, Machen, Blackwood, Hornung. Essays dealing exclusively with Conan Doyle will no longer be accepted.
Possible general topics of consideration:
- Aestheticism and the detective
- The intersection of art and science in criminology
- The formal art and style of mystery fiction
- Crime as an art (as suggested by Wilde's "Pen, Pencil and Poison")
- The journalistic art of reporting crime (The Yellow Press, W. T. Stead etc.)
- Renditions of "decadence" as social, as artistic, as criminal
      The collection will be published by Ibidem Press as part of their Studies in English Literatures series. All theoretical positions are welcome. Authors must hold PhDs. Essays are expected to be maximally 20 pages in length excluding footnotes. Secondary source material is expected.
Please send 2-3 pp. abstracts and an additional writing sample (article, book chapter, dissertation extract) by May 21st to Paul Fox at pwreynard_at_yahoo.com.

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Received on Tue Apr 25 2006 - 10:19:23 EDT