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“The Private Life of the Series Detective”
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. (Ekokritiskt forum, SOLD)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5830-079X
2004 (English)In: Modi Operandi / [ed] Eva Lambertsson Björk, Karen Patrick Knutsen and Elin Nesje Vestli., Halden:: Høgskolen i Østfold , 2004Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is nothing one-dimensional about contemporary series detectives; they are seldom simply tough, or intellectual, or street smart. The former cardboard figure has over the last thirty years or so turned into a dynamic character, with a private life and personal problems. The detective series, moreover, has developed from a chronicle of murder cases to a life story in installments, the private life of the series detective.

In, for example, Reginald Hill's series about Dalziel and Pascoe and Walter Mosley's about Easy Rawlins, the protagonist is followed from one adventure to the next, but also from one relationship to the next, and through stages of personal development. There is an emphasis on narrative order within the series; cause in one novel is followed by effect in the next. Furthermore, the modern series detective typically has to react to authentic events such as the miner's strike in Great Britain and the murder of JFK.

This article suggests that the new emphasis on the personal and on the authentic reflects a general trend in popular culture, and in fact signals realism to contemporary readers. Detectives Pascoe and Rawlins and their many colleagues come across as more realistic because they, like their readers, have families and personal problems to consider and are affected by topical, and factual, events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Halden:: Høgskolen i Østfold , 2004.
Keywords [en]
Detective fiction, Seriality, Reginald Hill, Walter Mosley, Dynamic characters
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-43283ISBN: 82-7825-125-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-43283DiVA, id: diva2:1308130
Available from: 2019-04-30 Created: 2019-04-30 Last updated: 2019-06-03Bibliographically approved

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