Thursday, May 14, 2015

Deriving a book outline.

Yes, I have a previous post that is an exploration of a book outline. Now that the abstract is done, I can pull an abstract from its contents.


The investigator as a literary figure is a contentious one. Born out of traditions established by Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and tracing back to the Biblical Daniel and the story of Bel and the Dragon, the first locked room mystery), the investigator changed radically in 20th-century detective fiction--moving from amateur to professional, investigator to criminal--and continues to change within the genre. Without the investigator, without some figure fortified by curiosity and determination, much of the work of  HP Lovecraft would not have been possible.

In the HBO series True Detective, the investigator has evolved into the "artist-investigator." This term is most often used in theater--and then only by a few groups--to describe an artist, employed by a theater company, who pushes against theater's current boundaries. Noteworthy is that the term is not used to describe an epistemology of investigation or the figure employing that epistemology, nor does the extant body of detective fiction criticism address the artist-investigator as part of its canon. These are critical omissions.

In this talk, a review of selected works by Robert W. Chambers and HP Lovecraft through the lens of detective fiction tropes and conventions, along with a discussion of True Detective, will show how the investigators in True Detective are a new kind of character derived from atelier fiction, weird fiction, and detective fiction. This new character, based on the aesthetics of crime and redemption, pits the artistic sensibilities of the detective against those of the criminal. This talk, by closely examining the above elements, sheds new light on the little-recognized figure of the artist-investigator. 


Deriving a rough outline from this:

Introduction: Tropes and conventions in detective fiction; the world of the investigator

Part I: The artist as investigator in Robert W. Chambers

Part II: The investigator as both artist and scientist in HP Lovecraft

Part III: The artist-investigator

Part IV: True Detective via Chambers and Lovecraft


That's very, very preliminary.

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