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California, has won many prizes for her crime stories. Kinsey. Millhone, a strong, intelligent female private detective with a good sense of humour, is the main. A Collection of. Short Mystery Stories. Featuring the illustrious characters: Mr. A. J. Raffles. Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Father Brown and Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. Mystery & Detective. Stories. History: ❖ The “dilettante” detective who deduces for sport: •. s - E.A. Poe: Auguste Dupin (“Purloined Letter”, et al).
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Sherlock Holmes, you have a crime, but multiple suspects. So the. Bernhard designed the endpapers as well as the colophon, a long-legged running torchbearer.
Adler, whose company Pynson Printers specialized in limited editions, cre- ated a distinguished title page. Like all Modern Library books issued in , A Portrait and Fourteen Great Detective Stories had the same spine design and flexible leatherette binding.
Even dust jackets had a similar appearance see Figure 1. Not only did the two books share a similar physical format, but they were displayed in the same way. As booksellers generally arranged Modern Library books by numbers on a special display rack see Figure 2 , most consumers would have encountered the two texts simultaneously.
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The fact that the Modern Library was displayed as a coherent collection conveyed cultural pres- tige. As Kevin J. The uniformity of the Modern Library was conveyed by the format and the display of the books but also by advertisements. Indeed, its advertising campaigns generally focused on the brand itself, rather than on individual titles. The objective was to convince consumers that all Modern Library books were worth reading.
Every book chosen has already been endorsed by the American public as a great book worthy to endure. Every author represented has already won his place among the great men of literature. Since both books were released in March, these figures correspond to the first four months following publication. Huebsch in Fourteen Great Detective Stories and A Portrait remained in the Modern Library for forty-two years and twenty-eight years respectively.
A Portrait started with a first printing of 8, in , and by the total number printed had reached 99, From to , the Modern Library probably sold more than , copies of A Portrait. It is tempting to see the anthology of detective tales as a potboiler, a necessary addition to help less profitable titles in the list. A Portrait was thus presented as an attractive novel that everybody could read. The fact that the Modern Library had chosen A Portrait for its series gave the novel a new authority as a modern classic, as a text that was both timely and timeless.
In , Ulysses was still banned in the United States on charges of obscenity. The dust jacket of Fourteen Great Detective Stories similarly conveys the impression that the book is a classic participating in modernity. Unlike its competitor, the Modern Library targeted the United States market with a balanced list of seven British and seven American authors. Doubleday Doran launched the latter series in March , the same month the Modern Library anthology of detective stories was released.
By the late s, detective fiction had become sufficiently respect- able to attract a distinguished readership. Even professors of English literature took an interest in this genre.
Modern Library editors would certainly have agreed with this refusal to create boundaries between genres. In the late s, then, detective fiction was increasingly accepted as an important part of the emerging canon of modern literature. Advertisements, blurbs, introductions, and other paratextual ele- ments presented Fourteen Great Detective Stories and A Portrait as quality books that appealed to the modern mind. How did reviewers react to this strategy? Did they show any surprise at the side-by-side publication of two books that we now consider radically different?
The controversy over Ulysses quickly transformed Joyce into a household name. As the publisher of the two latter texts, the Modern Library is presented as a series of modern masterpieces. Reviews also appeared in newspapers far from the literary centers of the east coast as well as in Canada, Australia, and even Cuba. The two Modern Library books are described as equally pleasant to read.
The creators of the Modern Library, Albert Boni and Horace Liveright, largely contributed to the popularization of psy- choanalysis in America. Seldes was the editor of the Dial from to , an exciting period in the history of the magazine.
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The first American printing of T. By , he had started reviewing detective fiction.
The fact that the Dial enthusiastically reviewed the works of these two writers along with Fourteen Great Detective Stories shows the flexibility of cultural categories in the interwar period. For the New York Intellectuals and their allies, the New Critics ,66 detective fiction exemplified the vices of mass culture.
Edgar Allan Poe and the Detective Story Narrative
The New York Intellectuals had come of age at a time of intense political tensions and had grown disillusioned with Marxism. The examples of Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany seemed to highlight the disastrous conse- quences of mass culture.
The post-war era was a period of intense criticism of corporate conformity, with books such as C. Although the New York Intellectuals often criticized academia and other insti- tutions that threatened an independent life of the mind, modernism came to be constructed as a difficult movement studied by profession- als in university departments.
Kauffer that featured a macabre image of a housekeeper on a black background. In the writings of post-war critics, modernism was often opposed to the crass commercialism of detective fiction.
Why did intellectuals suddenly seem anxious to draw a line between modernist writings and detective stories? In fact, the Modern Library had little in common with mass-market paperbacks.
At 95 cents, Modern Library books were nearly four times more expensive than early paperback editions Pocket Books sold for 25 cents each in , for example.
Second, the Modern Library was distributed in bookstores rather than newsstands and reached a much smaller market. The Modern Library edition sold only 4, copies between November and October From to , Modern Library bindings were made of linen cloth over stiff cardboard.
Finally, the dust jackets of Modern Library books were much more restrained than the lurid covers of many paperback editions.Even professors of English literature took an interest in this genre. Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. An evil deed has been done, someone has suffered, so a sacrifice is required.
But what do we have here? Muller and W. Ongoing Assignments: