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University Degree: Arthur Conan Doyle
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Judith PughMarking Tutor: Mark Brown To what extent are writers also detectives in the novels you have studied?
This sub-genre deals with the more detailed elements of police detection, in comparison to that of the private eye. The extent to which writers are also detectives in these three texts varies greatly. The fact that they are all very different in terms of the sub-genres of detective or crime fiction makes direct comparison difficult. Therefore this essay concentrates on each in turn, drawing together the main arguments in the conclusion. I have tried to give equal attention to each text, but the fact that each story in Paul Auster's New York Trilogy can stand alone as an individual piece of writing has made this difficult. In New York Trilogy, the distinction between writer and detective is particularly indistinct.
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In the Eighteen-Sixties, Hampstead Heath was a large public green on the northern perimeter of the neighbourhood of Hampstead and was notorious for the presence of highwaymen. So it is a suitable place to set dangerous encounters in fiction. A notorious place indeed, as Walter seems to be already on his guard, for, when he feels the touch of a hand on his shoulder, he immediately turns "with [his] fingers tightening round the handle of [his] stick" (47). Autonomy in local affairs could no longer proceed for, contrary to small towns where each individual lived under the public eye, in a large town he could live, if he chose to, in absolute obscurity.
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