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ENGL 324 (22)

Crime Fiction 4

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English (Arts)
ENGL 324
Thomas Heise

Jan 13 - Sidney Harrins, Policing a Class Society (1983) - Sean McCann, Gumshoe America - Dinah just all of the sudden required protection, when she'd done a pretty good job at being independent the rest of the novel. - Mrs. Willsson is just forgotten, it seems - a woman was the cause of the death of Noonan's brother - fathers and sons: Noonan took over the role of father for his brother - the op and the old man (the op knows that there will be repercussions, but he doesn't seem to care) > the man knows that all the reports are bullshit - the father is law; he's the one preventing the op from being even worse - social performance in this novel: the old man knows what the op has done, but the op writes up his reports anyways, goes through the ritual, goes through the performance, so that the official record reflects no blemish - characters act not really as 3D characters, but as interesting characters. the op violates this. the characters don't act with each other as fully-realized individuals - everyone has their type, they are a character, not a person. this is the fault of the style, not of the author. the attempt to be super empirical and objective - you can't know everybody in the city. you're typed based on how you dress/act/what you speak etc - even the town is typed - Elihu is the father of Personville: the city rebels against the father - Donald pretends to reform the city, and the op becomes Elihu's "son" when he becomes the one to reform the city (backed up on page 151); merry hell is referenced here too - client & op is reframed as a father/son dynamic, which gives it Freudian overtones - this father, instead is bloodthirsty and willing to commit crimes. he's interested only in himself - can be read alongside Freud; kill of the father because of his control over the tribe, and rebellion of the son against the father. - the gangsters in the book come in to do the bidding of Elihu, but then they too try to overthrow him, they have no loyalty - Noonan takes in Tim as a son, even though they are brothers - Donald is kind of a wimp who lives in France, and Elihu wishes that he has a son like the op. Donald works with words; he's like a journalist. the OP has a fraught relationship with journalism - reform campaign is no longer about exposing corruption/exploitation etc, it's about taking it down, hardcore, though violence and action - journalism didn't work, the OP is pursuing the same kind of campaign with his gun - it's like saying that this job cannot be done by such a feminine figure as Donald, it needs the Op’s more masculine hand - the OP doesn't think that newspapers are good for anything but muddying things up. he's trying to simplify things by purging society through violence. the newspapers come in, and they don't understand the seriousness of the situation - then
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