Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
My novella explores the character of a detective, Whitney Sloat, who lives and works in the hardboiled tradition, distant from reality. The characters of this fictionalized
Ogden, Utah act as they would in a hardboiled novel, but without the actual criminal element of that world.
Whitney and the characters that inhabit the novella are more products of detective fiction than inhabitants of that world. In line with Geraldine Pederson-Krag’s analysis of the primal scene as it applies to detective fiction, Whitney and those he associates with enact the detective fantasy and gratify their “infantile curiosity with impunity.” The world crumbles when the reality of the central crime becomes more difficult to reconcile with the fantasy of the world.
The fiction and theory of the genre seems concerned with sustainability as writers try to continue on in the traditions of the genre. I seek to represent that concern in my work as my detective is only a man attempting to live out his fantasy as he struggles to maintain, along with those around him, a world outside of reality.
Pack, Kendall G., ""We Want to Get Down to the Nitty-Gritty": The Modern Hardboiled Detective in the Novella Form" (2015). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 4247.
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