The Blues Detective: A Study of African American Detective Fiction

By Stephen F. Soitos | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction
1. The terms "detective" and "mystery" are almost interchangeable when applied to genre works. Generally, the term "detective" connotes a work in which a detective is actually part of the cast of characters. "Mystery" is a more universal term for genre works that use the typical conventions of suspense, action, physical danger, and intrigue; a detective may or may not be part of the plot. I use the term "detective" loosely to describe the whole genre of what is commonly called mystery/suspense fiction. This would include all the aspects of literary works that contain elements of mystery/suspense and detective conventions.
2. It must be noted here that there is one black author who wrote black detective fiction with a series of black detectives that I have chosen not to examine. George Schuyler ( 1895-1977), best known for his novel Black No More ( 1931), wrote six detective short stories for the Pittsburgh Courier during the years 1933-39. These stories were published under his own name as well as under the pseudonyms William Stockton, Samuel I. Brooks, and Rachel Call. After reviewing this detective fiction, I found that Schuyler's work proves the rule of African American detective tropes by way of exception. Schuyler's detective fiction does feature a series of black male detectives, but they hardly break new ground in African American detective personas, as they are usually "tall, powerful and handsome" with no other defining characteristics. The stories themselves are routinely executed in the classical detective mode in the most elementary fashion. Schuyler wrote these stories without a modicum of the satire, comic relief, or insight into black life that make his novel Black No More so interesting. Some of the stories take place in Harlem but add nothing to the depiction of that community or its culture. Most troublesome is Schuyler's negative depiction of aspects of African American and African culture. In "The Beast of Broadhurst Avenue: A Gripping Tale of Adventure in the Heart of Harlem" ( Pittsburgh Courier, Mar. 3, 1934-May 19, 1934), Schuyler, writing as Samuel I. Brooks, describes a hoodoo ceremony as "rigmarole," full of "grotesqueness."

-237-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Blues Detective: A Study of African American Detective Fiction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Paradigmatic Gesture 13
  • 5 - City Within a City: the Detective Fiction of Chester Himes 125
  • Notes 237
  • Bibliography 245
  • Index 253
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 260

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.