This course will consider the detective as literary hero, beginning with the creation of C. Auguste Dupin by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) and culminating in the post-modern world of Paul Auster (b. 1947). Along the way we will read some of the American and British authors who are considered classics in detective fiction, such as Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958), Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), Agatha Christie (1890-1976), Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957), Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), Ross MacDonald (1915-1983) and Dick Francis (b. 1920), among others. Additional reading assignments may include classic essays on the genre by the novelists themselves and other critics. In addition, we may consider how some of these detectives are represented by the film industry. Required: class attendance and participation, written essays and a possible class presentation.
Fulfills General Requirement in Arts & Letters