“An End to the Essential Difference between Things”: Detective, Criminal, and the Aesthetic of Crime

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2010-01-11

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Abstract

The detective fiction of Poe, Gaboriau, and Conan Doyle is best understood in relation to an earlier genre, the crime story, with the figure of the detective representing the descendant and the continuation of the criminals depicted in that genre. The common ground on which the detective meets the criminal of the crime story is the concept of an aesthetic of crime, and this idea also enables the detective’s identity with the criminals of detective fiction. In establishing the identity of the pursuer and the pursued, detective fiction discovers a deeper affinity between crime and art, a discovery that carries interesting implications for the “incompleteness” of modernity.

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Winner of the 2009 Robert F. Durden Award

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Citation

Harpham, John (2010). “An End to the Essential Difference between Things”: Detective, Criminal, and the Aesthetic of Crime. Course paper, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/1693.


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