This chapter will attempt to relate some of the formal concerns of detective writing to those of the early modernism with which its heyday dearly overlapped. What ‘modernism’ consists or consisted of is a large topic: I am perhaps extending it somewhat to include works written in and even shortly before the 1890s by Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Joseph Conrad. While some critics would put the birth of modernism as late as 1910, the ‘aesthetic’ and other movements of the 1890s clearly marked a reformulation of literary theory and practice continued in later more overtly experimental work, and it will be mainly the radical aspects of the writers named that I shall be discussing.1
KeywordsEarly Modernism Detective Story Endless Chain Detective Fiction Conventional Yarn
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.