A group blog for Introduction to Media Criticism at NYU, Fall 2009.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Typology of Detective Fiction
While the typology of film is widely talked about and fairly neutral, the classification of literature (in the widest sense of the term) is an issue of great contention. While some movie goers believe independent films to be of greater intellect and quality -- bigger budget films are often equally revered and rarely in competition or ideological opposition to the former. Not so in the case of the written word, specifically under the historical guise of fiction; a sphere in which "literary" forms contest not only the merit but the very existence of plot-driven, genre fiction.
Despite the prominence of genre-fiction as reflected by sales, the dominant ideology (until recently) paid little attention to all but the most metapsychical of genre-driven publications. To those members of the Intelligentsia, genre was seen as a default position, a form of intellectual and creative compensation and was so discounted as a mode of production.
Only in recent years (a half century after the death of modernism) have critics began looking at literary typology as a serious concern; first as a purely anthropological interest (see tzvetan Todorov's Typology of Detective Fiction) then as a fully fledged literary concern (see Ken Gelder's Popular Fiction.)