Adapting Detective Fiction: Crime, Englishness and the TV Detectives (Continuum Literary Studies)

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9781847063076: Adapting Detective Fiction: Crime, Englishness and the TV Detectives (Continuum Literary Studies)

Adapting Detective Fiction is an insightful and illuminating analysis of the various television adaptations of British detective fiction. It investigates the links between literary texts, television adaptations, and the socio-economic framework connecting and informing both, and in so doing it does for British detective fiction what Sean McCann's Gumshoe America did for American crime fiction. Neil McCaw produces fascinating readings of key texts and their television adaptations, but also reveals the complex web of social, cultural, economic, and political forces that lie behind the adaptations. As an investigation of the mediation between past and present that these adaptations represent, the book identifies what they say about national identity, nostalgia, and cultural values.--Sanford Lakoff

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Adapting Detective Fiction is a study of specific instances of adaptation, with close readings of both the originating sources and adapted texts. But it is also more than this. It is a study of the politics of representation in the last decades of the twentieth century, and the role television detective fiction plays in this. It is about the mutually-informing interrelation of cultural texts and political rhetoric, about the connection between the popular-cultural depiction of crime and criminality and how we come to understand human behaviour and culpability; most of all, it is a detailed consideration of what the process of adaptation reveals about the shifting nature of the world in which we live. With specific reference to television series such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Miss Marple. A Touch of Frost Cadfael, and Midsomer Murders Adapting Detective Fiction uses adaptation as the basis for an exercise in later twentieth-century cultural history, illustrating the fundamental role detective fictions play in popular beliefs about the nature of crime and Englishness.

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