The Doomed Detective: The Contribution of the Detective Novel to Postmodern American and Italian Fiction

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Southern Illinois University Press, 1984 - Fiction - 183 pages
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?Tani's dissertation is the most stun≠ningly original and intelligent I have encountered in 25 years of teaching,” wrote the late novelist John Gardner.

Tani's argument says that the ?mys≠tery story as written by Hammett and others and touted by the French existen≠tialists led to a new kind of novel and the old-style mystery, as written by, for ex≠ample, Agatha Christie, seemed a liter≠ary dead end?a conservative if not reac≠tionary game. In recent years, Tani shows, the seeming dead end has led to the most important literary movement now visible: the ironic intellectual fic≠tion of people ranging from Borges and Barth to Calvino, and he proves that the spearhead of this movement is Italian fiction as influenced by American mys≠tery fiction. At first glance, the argu≠ment seems outrageous. The brilliance of Tani's thesis?besides the original outrageous idea?is that he solidly and systematically makes his case.”

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The Development of the Detective Novel and
Toward a Definition of the AntiDetective
The Innovative AntiDetective Novel

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About the author (1984)

Stefano Tani is on the comparative lit≠erature faculty at Syracuse University, Syracuse in Italy Program.

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