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Lecture 1

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ENG364- Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The Thin Man
- Genre fiction: detective stories, romance, science fiction
- “Golden Age” of detective stories
- Murder is a cognitive puzzle
oSolved by stringing together information
- Detectives are almost always amateurs…not police or attorneys
- Murder is solved, identified and punished
- After WW1, American crime fiction emerged
- 20th century and American, new kind of detective fiction
- Hard boiled: not glamorous/gentile
- Nora’s fascination with the people who Nick knows
- Nora did not have any exposure to this world in the past, it is exciting for her
- Sin city= sex and violence
- “Golden Age”, the actual body is not focused on…makes it less gory
- Hammett changed this…You can be dead, but this does not mean that you were innocent
- Discovery is inevitable…you will leave behind something even if it is a skin cell or piece
of hair
oCannot escape DNA
- Questions with murder: who, why, when
- Nick never lets Nora have a voice…silenced throughout the novel
- Nora wants in, but Nick does not agree with this
- Nick interrupts her which shows that he believes his opinion is more important and that
hers is unnecessary
- Nick is sure that there is no other option other than what he believes is correct
oHe is retired and she is an amateur which makes this makes sense…he is the voice
of reason and she is naïve when it comes to detecting
oShows gender roles that are very typical at this time
- Once they leave New York they seem safe…retreat back to their money
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