A Counter-History of Crime Fiction

Supernatural, Gothic, Sensational

Maurizio Ascari 2007

E-Book: 239 English pages

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Price: 1000 Toman

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A Counter-History of Crime Fiction takes a new look at the evolution of crime fiction, drawing on material from the Middle Ages up to the early Twentieth century, when the genre was theoretically defined as detective fiction. Considering ‘criminography’ as a system of inter-related, even incestuous, sub-genres, Maurizio Ascari explores the connections between modes of literature such as revenge tragedies and providential fictions, the gothic and the ghost story, urban mysteries and anarchist fiction, while taking into account the influence of pseudo-sciences such as mesmerism and criminal anthropology.


Shortlisted for Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards 2008 (Category: Best Critical/Biographical) ‘Maurizio Ascari’s book is a thrilling journey through the supernaturally dark side of crime fiction. It excavates material that critics have not previously considered in the context of classic crime writing and also explores innovatively the role of the super-rational in the development and meaning of the genre. The book thoroughly justifies its challenging title as a Counter-History of Crime Fiction.’ – Stephen Knight, Distinguished Research Professor in English Literature, University of Cardiff, UK ‘…a well-written, insightful and important piece of criticism.’ – Kim Toft Hansen, Kulturekapellet ‘…[an] interestingly transnational approach to crime fiction…elegant language…captivating writing style…critically groundbreaking…’ Rivista di Studi Vittoriani