Evolution of Detective Fiction

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Detective fiction, Arthur Conan Doyle Pages: 4 (1542 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Twenty-first century detective stories are blooming with action, conflict, mystery and so on. But this is only recent development. There is a lot more to it than most people think. From a French man named Vidocq to the creation of modern detective fiction by Edgar Allan Poe, until today’s development of detective stories and its characters. So what made Poe such an important figure in detective fiction history, and in what way did his creation develop after his death? In my study I will try to answer these questions to the best of my capabilities.

People started to take interest in crime stories in the early 1800, caused by their fascination and fear of crime. It was the town folks that started to romanticize criminals, as well those who stood up against them: “The first writing on urban crime pretended to be documentary, but it was filled with archetypes and plots from preceding fiction, particularly the gothic novel” (Marling 2). The detective as a figure first saw light in the early nineteenth century. Eugène François Vidocq who is considered to be the father of modern criminology and the first private detective wrote Memoirs of Vidocq which inspired writers like Viktor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Honoré de Balzac’s Le Pere Goriot in creating first of many detective figures based on Vidocq. Of course there were other writers, not just crime stories but novels as well, to whom Vidocq served as an inspiration. A good example to this is Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. The main and most important difference between the earlier mentioned crime stories and Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue is that they didn’t construct their story/case around the detectives: “Before Poe, the early crime stories did not revolve around the individual detective “(freewebs editor 3). Crime Fiction is essentially about the solving of a crime, usually a mystery of murder. Crime Fiction texts question what it is to be human and raise questions about identity. (freewebs editor 1)...
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