The Rising of Suspicion. Genres and Modes of Investigation Towards The Whodunit Reading Competences (France, Italy, United Kingdom)

Morselli, Michele (2021) The Rising of Suspicion. Genres and Modes of Investigation Towards The Whodunit Reading Competences (France, Italy, United Kingdom), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Lingue, letterature e culture moderne, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9787.
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The thesis analyses the rise of the reading-for-the-clue competences in diachrony, as the result of transgeneric interferences between the nineteenth-century sensation novels and other genres of investigation, such as melodrama, detective memories, and crime report. First, we propose an experiential conception of genericity: « the game of detection » is just the result of the narrative effect of suspicion, engaging the reader to solve the mystery autonomously. However, the forms programming this effect also suggest the persistence of other genres’ influence at every structural level of detective fiction. In order to explore the causality underlying the rise of suspicion, we thus need to widen the intertext of the detective novel models (Vidocq, Poe, Gaboriau, Piccini, Doyle, Leroux) to other writing practices. Formerly an isolated narrative unity in detective memoirs, detection establishes its novelistic structure throughout its serialisation in the press and its theatrical adaptations; also, the presence of infratexts makes it the privileged site to prefigure the reader’s quest for the clue, the interpretative discourse of the detective being juxtaposed to falsifiable documents. Nevertheless, crime represents a source of curiosity only when its focalisation is external to the detective, in line with the «faits divers» model. At the crossroads of theatrical discourse and reportage, the genre adopts a rhetoric of sensoriality, providing all the clues to the reader without biasing them by any interpretative discourse. Moreover, the reader suspects as a consequence of a set of expectations: the predictability of the “faux coupable” script redirects the quest toward other criminal types, whose multiplication hint the intensification of the reader’s interpretative effort. This must be supported by the reader’s trust in the detective’s infallibility, a horizon that is consolidated in opposition to the systematic fallibility of the narrator and the other sleuths that inhabit the detective novel’s fictional worlds.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Morselli, Michele
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
roman policier, roman judiciaire, lecture, énigme, détective, réception, interprétation, genre, transgénéricité, adaptation, mélodrame, fait divers, reportage, mémoire, Vidocq, Poe, Gaboriau, Collins, Piccini, Jarro, Leroux, Christie
Data di discussione
20 Maggio 2021

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