Download American TV Detective Dramas: Serial Investigations by Mareike Jenner PDF

By Mareike Jenner

The best way detectives entry and accomplish the 'truth' a couple of crime is a vital indicator of the way they relate to modern political advancements. This e-book explores those equipment of detection and positions the style in a particular political, aesthetic, narrative and commercial context.

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Irrational-subjective methods of detection are rooted in the literary tradition of hard-boiled novels by American authors like Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. Chandler describes these novels as follows: The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangsters can rule nations and almost rule cities, in which hotels and apartment houses and celebrated restaurants are owned by men who made their money out of brothels, in which a screen star can be the fingerman for a mob, and the nice man down the hall is a boss of the numbers racket; a world where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket, where the mayor of your town may have condoned murder as an instrument of moneymaking, where no man can walk down a dark street in safety because law and order are things we talk about but refrain from practising; a world where you may witness a hold-up in broad daylight and see who did it, but you will fade quickly back into the crowd rather than tell anyone, because the hold-up men may have friends with long guns, or the police may not like your testimony, and in any case the shyster for the defense will be allowed to abuse and vilify you in open court, before a jury of selected morons, without any but the most perfunctory interference from a political judge.

One problem with these eulogies is that there is a tendency to conceptualise postmodernism largely as an aesthetic project, not as a philosophical concept that pervades and shapes society. Still, significant shifts within postmodernism have been taking place, and these have been theorised in different ways. One example of this is Alan Kirby’s concept of ‘digimodernism’. By this, Kirby means largely a new structuring of society, knowledge and power through technological developments: digimodernism has decisively displaced postmodernism to establish itself as the twenty-first century’s new cultural paradigm.

The literary heroes Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, and so on have left a powerful legacy and still dominate the sub-genre in terms of ‘stock’ characters or genre archetypes, such as female detectives as rational investigators and male investigators who often seem arrogant and removed from ‘mainstream’ society. The novels, in particular those of Agatha Christie, have been greatly influential on television in terms of narrative structures and serialisation, as explained in more detail in Chapter 4.

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