This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2017-2018

ENGL 13186-8: Mystery Fiction

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Instructor: Margaret Doody

This course will deal with detection and mystery in fiction from Sophocles to Dashiell Hammett. The syllabus includes films to be chosen by the students .We follow the detective and the criminal (often strangely connected); that pursuit encourages us to consider various genres, including classic tragedy, the Gothic novel, the “thriller,” film noir. Entering the dark Paris streets of Poe’s Dupin, the foggy London of Sherlock Holmes, the pleasant Chinese tea-gardens and rough highways known to Judge Dee, we hope to be surprised. We will consider what kinds of pleasure the “mystery story” offers us, and why such a repellent matter as murder provides such strong entertainment. The study of mystery turns us towards philosophical mysteries, questions regarding good and evil, revenge and justice, the appeal of the ugly and the sublime.