Necropornography in Modern Crime Fiction
Chapter 2 examines the history of necropornography in modern crime fiction. It proposes that a fascination with the sexualized cadavers of women pervaded the detective genre beginning with Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841) and “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” (1842). It situates Poe with respect to a narrative tradition of “sexual tales of murder” (Karen Halttunen) centrally concerned with the sexuality of female victims. The chapter examines eroticized cadavers and dissection scenes in George Lippard’s The Quaker City (1845), La huella del crimen (1877) by Raúl Waleis (Luis V. Varela), Jonathan Latimer’s The Lady in the Morgue (1936), Michael Storme’s Hot Dames on Cold Slabs (1952), and So Nude, So Dead (1952) and Widows (1991), both by Ed McBain.