The typology of detective fiction ,”

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The typology of detective fiction,” Tzvetan Todorov

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The typology of detective fiction ,”. Tzvetan Todorov . Tzvetan Todorov discusses genre and then uses his discussion of genre to discuss literature and how genre creates literature. CLASSICAL PERIOD. PAST- NO GENRES ; NO VALUE IF SO WITH ONLY A PENALISING TENDENCY HAD SET CODES . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of The typology of detective fiction ,”

The typology of detective fiction,

The typology of detective fiction,Tzvetan Todorov Tzvetan Todorov discusses genre and then uses his discussion of genre to discuss literature and how genre creates literatureCLASSICAL PERIODPAST- NO GENRES ; NO VALUE IF SO WITH ONLY A PENALISING TENDENCYHAD SET CODES

AUTHORS/WOAMETER/THEMERHYTHM/PLOT MORAL/CHARACTERANILPARTIALNILBX--XC---XXROMANTIC PERIODROMANTICIST-refused totally to accept any genre- so genre was not developedLATER a Tendency to review using genretypology meant description of WOA(Work of art)not satisfactory

DifficultiesGenre referred to analysis of structure of WOAFirst to explore measurable elementsSecond describes structure

[ classical period did not have measurable elements solid but had only abstract logics]Attributing specific character to any aesthetic normEvery WOA creates two genresOne it transgressesOne it createsEg. The charter house- transgresses French novel normsBears similarity to Stendhalian novel

Stendhal consistently links various colours to specific themes, attitudes, or moods. Red, associated with passion and revolutionary impulses, and black, suggesting despair and death, are the most important in his rich palette of colours. Green, a kind of lesser black, may signal agitation or disorder.

There is one type of WOA belonging to own genreThat is a detective novelHas its own normsTo develop norms is to distract itIn other words, development is writing literature

Whodunit detective novel ( who done it)Conforms rigidly to genreEg. No orchids for Miss BlandishIncarnation of genre and not a transcendence[ perfection/superior[ earlier no genres to describe popular literature- if there had been there would not have been any popular literature-all one and the same]

Aesthetic aspects of literatureNow two typesHigh art & popular artElements of measurement are different

Todorov presents three kinds of detective fiction: whodunit, thriller, and suspense. Todorov says that between two such different forms there has developed a third, which combines their properties referring to the whodunit and the thriller creating to make the suspense

Classic detective fiction-Whodunit novelWhodunit novelOriginated and attained its peak during world wars contains not one but two stories: the story of the crime and the story of the investigationTwo Murders

First murder

Second murder (Criminal) Crime (Detective) investigation First story ----leading to -------------------------------------second story

what really happened how the reader comes to know

Part I Part IIA small green index-card on which is typed: Odel, Margaret184. W. Seventy First Street.Murder: Strangled about11 p.m. Apartment robbed. Jewels stolen. Body found by Amy Gibson, maid.[S.S.Van Dine, The Canary Murder]

Part II-Second storyHas a special status in Whodunit Has a geometric structureCharacters do not act; they learnNothing happens to themAs a rule of the genre, detectives are immune to any dangerReaders learn- a slow apprenticeship -Clue after clue; lead after lead Detective writes his experiences as a book-His friend informs to othersDetectives states how this book has been written bears literary nature while the first story bears nothing- just a statement of murder or robberyauthor does not disclose the murderer/not even imagines a character[c devoid of literary nature]In 2nd part the real story of the book lies


Agatha Christie Murder on the Orient ExpressTwelve suspectsTwelve chaptersTwelve interrogationsA prologue [discovery of crime An epilogue [discovery of killer]

The two definitions define two aspects alsoRussian Formalists isolated into fable (story) and subject (plot) [ not satisfying story]Story is what has happened in ones lifePlot is what the author presents the story to us. No two notions but two aspects of one storyA murdered B-storyHow it is narrated? What are literary devices used?

Possibility of paradoxFirst part- story of an absenceNarrator can not transmit the conversations nor describe the actions of between characters implicitly

Second partWords are heard actions observed Status is just an excessive one having no importance in itselfA mediator between reader and the first story of crime

First story in absence is significant and real second story much present yet insignificant and unrealSome publishers suppress details and let the secret in the last page as letter/envelop e.g.. Judges verdict Literary devices employed in first story -that the Author cannot explain Two typesTemporal inversions (sequential )Individual points of viewThe tenor/sense of it is determined by the person who transmits itNo observation exists with out an observerAuthor cannot be an omniscient [present every where]

Second storyAll the devices are justified hereCare to be taken 2nd story not be opaqueNot casting useless shadow on the firstStyle must be neutral and plain and also imperceptible[ not detectable]

The Thriller

Fuses both the 1st and 2nd storiesSuppresses the 1stVitalizes the second crime Anterior[first/front] is not disclosed before narrativeNarrative [2nd] coincides with the actionIt is not presented as a memoir [account/record]No point is reached where the narrator comprehends the pastNo idea if he achieves any endProspection takes the place of retrospection [No imagination ; no mystery; no suspense

Yet readers are interested in two forms of itCuriosity- proceeds from effect [corpse and clues]to cause [culprit and his motive]Suspense- cause [donnes/ gangsters preparing heist] to effect [corpse and clues]Interest is sustained to what would happen to detective- he may be hurt or killed- detective takes risksOne story with two stories blendedThe thriller need not perform specific transformation in order to appear on the scene It did not follow any structure



Effect to Cause Cause to Effect

CAUSE- Corpse and Clue EFFECT- Culprit and his motive No method of presentation for thriller of later yearsFocused on milieu it represented; specific characters with special behaviour and in its themeMilieu is violent- violence/immortality is as much as noble feelings[beatings, killings etc.No mystery even if it did not hold central function unlike whodunit[mystery was the centre in whodeunit]

Earlier thrillers included the element of mysteryEg. Dashiel Hammet & Raymond chandler

Gradually thriller turned to be a genre encapsulatingDangerPursuitCombat bearing a tendency towardsMarvelousExoticResemblingTravel narrativeScience fictionThriller is different from adventurous storyDifferent from even detective novelThe difference in the milieu and behaviour are the cause to make thriller a genre

Thriller as a genre according to Van DineOne detective; one criminal; one victim [corpse]Culprit must not be professional criminal; must not be detective; must kill for personal reasonsNo loveCulprit must have certain importance in life; (no chamber maid or a butler]Everything must be rational- no fantasyNo descriptionNo psychological analysisHomology of storyauthor: reader= criminal: detective.Banal (trivial , common place) situations must be avoided

suspenceCombination of whodunit & thriller Originated along with thriller describes the milieu like thrillerComposition is like that of whodunitHas two sub types


Evolution of these forms are in stagesAll three forms exist now unlike other genresDetective novel tried to disenthrall from old convictions /genre to establish new codeIf we trace peculiar detective novel it need not efface the existing one; instead can create new one bearing no semblance to any of the existing form.It is constituted of complex properties logically not similar to earlier forms