The Devil himself: villainy in detective fiction and film
This study of the villain in detective fiction and film examines such questions as what the villains reflect about the heroes, what they reflect about society, and what defines villainous activity. The texts discussed span the end of the 18th through the 20th century and range from Charles Brockden Brown's Weiland (1798) to the film Se7en (1995). As the villains reflect the changing ethics of society, the shift in such nebulous moral boundaries can be traced through the changing depictions of these dark characters. Correspondingly, essays address issues of gender, genre, race, and class. In addition to Weiland and Se7en, books and films discussed include Dickens's Bleak House, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the films of Alfred Hitchcock, the James Bond novels and films, the novels of P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and Dorothy Sayers, A. S. Byatt's Possession, Patricia Cornwall's Scarpetta mysteries, Margaret Atwood's Robber Bride, and the movie The Usual Suspects.
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American appearance argues Armadale beauty becomes Bleak House Bond Bond's British chapter characters Chesney Wold Conan crime fiction criminal cultural death desire detective fiction Dickens Doyle English Esther's evil fantasy fear female feminine figure film film noir foreigner Fosco Fu Manchu Fu Manchu Omnibus gender genre Goldfinger Gothic Hannibal Lecter Harriet hero Hitchcock horror Hortense Hortense's identity Italian Keyser Soze killed Kujan Lady Dedlock Laura Lecter literary London male masculinity Maud Moonraker Moriarty mother murder mystery narrative narrator Nayland Smith Oxford passion Pesca play plot police political popular Prod reader reading recognise relationship Robber Bride Rohmer role Roylott scapegoat Scarpetta secret sensation novel serial killer serpent sexual Sherlock Holmes snake social society Soze Speckled Band story symbol threat tion Traitor's Purse transgressive Tulkinghorn Uncle Charlie University Press Usual Suspects Verbal victim Victorian villain wartime Wilkie Collins Woman in White women writer Zenia