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Counting (on) Crime in De Quincey and Poe: Seriality, Crime Statistics, and the Emergence of a Mass Literary Market

  • Nicola Glaubitz
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)

Abstract

The growing popularity and availability of statistical accounts of crimes, deaths, and suicides in the 1830s and 1840s coincides with the success of serialized crime fiction on a mass market. This chapter uses Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin stories and Thomas De Quincey’s “On Murder Considered as a One of the Fine Arts” as examples to argue that statistical accounts presenting crime as an everyday rather than an extraordinary occurrence pose a challenge to conventions of short fictional narration centered on the single extraordinary event. A new logic of serial popularity develops in response to the pressure of serial publication and the idea of serial crime, in which the successful repetition of the extraordinary is not only couched in a new literary epistemology but also rests on publication strategies of periodicals like Blackwood’s Magazine, geared toward including more readers while maintaining an aura of exclusivity.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Glaubitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Kiel UniversityKielGermany

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