Whodunit? – British Literary Detectives and their Stories

PS, Tue 14- 16
WS 2009/2010
Universität Bayreuth

Course Description:

This course will focus on selected works that feature famous literary detectives. By analysing and comparing different characters and their literary representation, we will consider why these characters are so fascinating for the reader. In British literature, there is not one prototypical detective, but a range of different characters with unique personal features. Thus in this course we will analyse the amateur detective exemplified by Miss Marple and Father Brown, the private investigator (Sherlock Holmes) and the police detective (Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby) by tracing them through their literary representations. Every detective needs a good story, just like every good detective story needs a remarkable detective. Where appropriate, excerpts from film adaptations will be shown and analysed.

Texts to be obtained by students:

G.K. Chesterton. The Complete Father Brown Stories
Agatha Christie. 4.50 From Paddington
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A Study in Scarlet
Caroline Graham. The Killings at Badger’s Drift