Monday, October 9, 2023

"The Roman Policier Should Be on the Model of the Short Story Rather Than the Novel"

"A School of Detective Yarns Needed."
Article (1 page).
First appearance: The Literary Digest, September 23, 1922.
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE and below).

For years, despite widespread public acceptance of detective fiction at all levels of society (from aristocrats to the man in the street), why did it take the genre so long to achieve some sort of respectability? When it comes to detective stories getting badly reviewed, maybe snobbery and Carolyn Wells's terse assessment coupled with G. K. Chesterton's more expansive analysis might be all we'll ever need to explain it: 
References and resources:
- The author quotes extensively from Chesterton's 1920 newspaper article, "Errors about Detective Stories," fully online (HERE).
- Detective stories and authors mentioned in passing:
  ~ "the House of Usher" (full title: "The Fall of the House of Usher") (online HERE)
  ~ "Treasure of Franchard" (online HERE)
  ~ The Moonstone (featured HERE; see especially "Resources")
  ~ Gaboriau (briefly noted HERE)
  ~ Bentley's Trent's Last Case (reactions HERE)
  ~ "Milne's Red House Mystery" (full title: The Red House Mystery) (discussed HERE)
  ~ Sherlock Holmes (HERE) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (HERE).

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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