Comparative Literature | Detective, Mystery, and Horror Literature
C217 | 6103 | Ed Chamberlain


MWF 10:10-11
*carries A&H credit*

Edgar Allan Poe not only wrote some of our finest “tales of terror,”
but also practically invented the genre of analytic detective fiction.
His literary career suggests that these two literary forms are in some
way connected, and that what links them is a fascination with the
unknown. Along with Poe’s work, we will consider the ways in which
writers of detective and horror fiction manipulate their readers. For
instance, we will ask ourselves: Why do we like to be frightened, at
least in literature? What purpose does a detective serve for his or
her author and reader? What are the similarities between the criminals
of detective fiction (and its detectives!) and the monsters of horror
fiction? We will focus on texts in which horror and mystery are
combined and consider the detective figures and writing strategies of
authors such as Poe, Angela Carter, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jorge Luis
Borges, Anne Rice and Horacio Quiroga. We will also take into account
films, such as Halloween, Scream, and The Usual Suspects, among
others. This course satisfies the A&H requirement for undergraduate
students.