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ENGL 324 (22)

Crime Fiction 10

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McGill University
English (Arts)
ENGL 324
Thomas Heise

Feb 3 The Talented Mr Ripley - 4th novel - 1st was strangers on a train - Chandler wrote the screenplay, but then Hitchcock fired him - character becomes recurring, like Marlowe - connect this back to Hughes' IALP - Hughes read Highsmith, but it's uncertain whether Highsmith read Hughes - her most recent biographer found it really difficult to write about her, because she had a hard time finding sympathy for Highsmith - she was very anti-Semitic, misogynistic and (at times) racist - think about the narrative structure of Ripley - different kind of effect generated by this different narrative structure - once again, we're not asking who did it, we're asking different questions, like 'when will he kill again?' and 'why is he killing?' - when and where drive the narrative in two directions, horizontal and vertical - all narratives unfold in time; to read them is to engage in a temporal activity. -they also unfold in space (one event after another, one signifier after another) - it's a fundamental distinction between metonymy and metaphor - metonymy works by displacement - these come from Jakobsson - all narratives are narratives of desire. they begin with a sense of incompletion and sustain our desire to read through a series of false starts, detours, misdirections - curiosity is a condition of desire - if it fulfills our desire immediately, well then it's over - there's some kind of wh- question - most common desire is the marriage plot: begins with a state of incompletion, and the desire that sustains that narrative is the reaching for a kind of wholeness - the erotic story: what sustains our desire to read is our desire for sexual release - religious story: conversion, oneness with God/gods, oneness with creation - they all begin with a state of lack that creates within us a desire of fulfillment - suspense and delay are within themselves erotic - eventually the story comes to an end (though this is not necessarily closure) - it's bounded, though it may not be satisfying - Freud imported into literary studies through the different shapes of narratives (theories of narrativity) - Peter Brooks - reading for plot - for Freud, there's a moment when inanimate matter becomes animate. when something that did not have life in it has life in it. psychic discharge? - Freud says that we have a drive to return to this state of no stimulation - Freud thinks of stimulation as pain - death drive: we desire a state of a complete lack of stimulation (inanimacy) - narratives begin with a state of disorder, they sustain us along this thread, delaying us, giving us moments of pleasure along the
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