Undergraduate Course: The Great Detectives 4 (LLLG07056)
|School||Centre for Open Learning
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||THIS IS A FOR-CREDIT COURSE OFFERED BY THE OFFICE OF LIFELONG LEARNING (OLL); ONLY STUDENTS REGISTERED WITH OLL SHOULD BE ENROLLED.
Detective fiction is a fascinating genre because of the sheer multiplicity of novels within it. This course aims to tease out the different approaches that detective fiction writers have used. We will study a novel of the American neo-noir in which the author resists the temptation to resolve the ending alongside the first-person narrative of a young detective with learning disabilities. We will also consider the impact of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood in changing the direction of detective fiction towards more postmodern factional techniques.
Week 1 and Week 2: Recording experiences in a 'murder mystery novel': a discussion of a rather unusual detective and a rather unusual crime.
Text: Mark Haddon: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Week 3 and Week 4: 'Very little is discovered and the detective is defeated': Umberto Eco's post-modern take on historical detective fiction.
Text: Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
Week 5 and Week 6: 'The book's suspense is based largely on a totally new idea in detective stories: the promise of gory details, and the withholding of them until the end.' (Tom Wolfe) A discussion on how Capote's novel changed detective fiction.
Text: Truman Capote: In Cold Blood
Week 7 and Week 8: An auctioneer turned detective: Welsh's Rilke in Glasgow.
Text: Louise Welsh: The Cutting Room
Week 9 and Week 10: A discussion of James Ellroy's neo-noir style and his refusal to tie up his loose ends.
Text: James Ellroy: L. A. Confidential
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
| By the end of this course, students should be able to:
* discuss texts confidently;
* assess literature based, to a certain extent, on their own close reading;
* place literature in its historical context;
* explain the various elements of the genre of detective fiction;
* demonstrate a good understanding of how the genre has developed and diversified.
Eco, Umberto 2004. The Name of the Rose. London: Vintage.
Capote, Truman 2009. In Cold Blood. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Ellroy, James 1995. L. A. Confidential. London: Arrow.
Haddon, Mark 2004. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. London: Vintage.
Welsh, Louise 2003. The Cutting Room. Edinburgh: Cannongate.
Priestman, Martin ed., 2003. The Cambridge Companion to Detective Fiction. Cambridge: CUP.
Scaggs, John 2005. Crime Fiction. London: Routledge.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||* Close critical reading of passages from texts.
* Small group working.
* Setting literature in historical, social and political context.
* Advance preparation of material for class including work for essays and class discussion.
* Wide reading. Students will be encouraged to work around the subject by reading other detective novels and relevant secondary material.
|Course organiser||Dr Anya Clayworth
|Course secretary||Mrs Sabine Murdoch
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855