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CLIT 7013 PostModernism 2012-2013

Short Written Response

Topic
Examine the ways in which Paul Auster’s City of Glass challenge the convention of detective genre and open up discussion of postmodern concerns. The focus of the illustration of my argument is based on ‘the authority of detective-writer’

Title
Who is the detective?

Name of Student: Ho Pui Chi, Gladys
UID: 2009874088
Email: gho@spss.edu.hk
Instructor: Dr. Winnie Yee
Date of Submission: 17 October 2012 (Wed)
Who is the detective?
I am going to examine the ways in which Paul Auster’s City of Glass challenge the convention of detective genre and open up discussion of postmodern concerns. The focus of the illustration of my argument is based on ‘the authority of detective-writer’ The basic conventions of classical detective story are:

Poe created the transcendent and eccentric detective …..; deduction by putting oneself in another’s position …; even the expansive and condescending explanation when the chase is done … (Holquist 141). Daniel Quinn in the City of Glass tried to employ his experience as a detective-writer in the case of Junior Stillman. “Like most people, Quinn knew almost nothing about crime.” (Auster 7). Quinn started the investigation of the case of Junior Stillman by chance due to a call being wrongly addressed to Quinn by Junior Stillman. It is Max Work (Quinn’s detective story character) who has the ability to be detective but not Quinn as ‘Quinn tried to imagine what Work would have said to the stranger on the phone’ (Auster 9) and ‘Then he thought about what Max Work might have been thinking, had he been there’ (Auster 14) when Quinn met Junior Stillman. As a detective-writer, Quinn did not check the Auster Detective Agency after taking the call and before meeting Junior Stillman. This is not logical and rational even in ordinary people’s eyes.

Quinn, the ‘detective’ in this fiction, is more a person...
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