English Extension 1 - Crime Fiction

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Seeds of an Evolution: Crime Fiction
“Genres are instances of repetition and difference...difference is absolutely essential to the economy of genre” Steve Neale states. Crime fiction is most undoubtedly the most popular form of fiction throughout the years and will continue to be so. However, the question remains: why? The genre of crime fiction has continually maintained its popularity through the ages by continuing to evolve and transcend contextual barriers to suit changing paradigms. The classic conventions of crime fiction will most likely stem from embryonic works such as Edgar Allen Poe’s, ‘Murder in the Rue Morgue’. Furthermore, it is the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes which has been responsible for the meteoric rise and ongoing popularity for an ever evolving genre. The classic detective story would be nothing without the detective. The detective and the characters which surround him or her is paramount since it forms the foundations of the plot. Like the genre itself, the characters and the detective change. In the Golden Era of Crime Fiction, the likes of Christie and Sayers, emerged with detectives such as Poirot and Blore, where like many other detectives in this time, heavily relied on logic and wits to solve a crime. There were no sensational epiphanies or a supernatural means of solving the crime; all the crimes were solved by deductions and pure thinking. However, in Stoppard’s ‘The Real Inspector Hound’, the play is merely a parody of Christie and the sub-genre itself. Stoppard presents Inspector Hound as a symbol of the rejection of accepted Realist conventions in theatre. The action within the play is unordered, illogical and unexpected much like the character itself. The character serves as an hyperbole as he is seen ridiculously wearing inflated swamp boots and carrying a foghorn – a far cry from the supposedly genius detective of the Intuitionist detective. As we and the genre move forward in time, the decline of the...
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