Monday, May 11, 2015

Toward an abstract.

Because, you know, the due date is May 23rd.

First revision of the most recent abstract paragraph:

The artist-investigator, the inheritor of the worlds of Chambers and Lovecraft, amplifies the powers of the traditional investigator, permitting him to access the world of the criminal through the aesthetics of the crime. These aesthetics must be explicated by one who recognizes and understands what the criminal has constructed via the event and the crime scene. Without this insight into the criminal's sensitivities, motives, and actions--which form the core of an aesthetic--the community cannot be redeemed, its freedom cannot be purchased, because the criminal will not be caught. Thus, the aesthetic of redemption is available only via the artist-investigator. This new kind of investigator, combining elements of the traditional investigator with a vision shaped by the aesthetics of crime and redemption, places the first season of True Detective firmly in the weird fiction tradition.
But that's not really an abstract, is it. It's an opening paragraph for a chapter, or perhaps an abstract for a chapter. 

Now, to make it into an abstract:

The figure of the detective, or investigator, has been a contentious one. Born out of traditions established by Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the figure changed radically in 20th century detective fiction and continues to do so today. The term "artist-investigator" has typically been used to describe someone working in the arts to push the boundaries of what is currently known. It is not typically used to describe an epistemology of investigation. In this paper, I review the work laid down by both Chambers, author of The King in Yellow, and HP Lovecraft through the lens of detective fiction tropes and conventions, showing how the investigators in True Detective are a new kind of detective derived from both weird fiction and detective fiction. This new character is based on the aesthetics of crime and redemption, pitting the artistic sensibilities of the detective and the criminal against each other. In so doing, this paper sheds new light on the little-recognized issue of the artist-investigator.
That's a first draft, no revision. I'll let it simmer overnight and work on it more tomorrow.


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