By Michael Cook
The locked room secret is among the iconic creations of renowned fiction. Michael Cook's serious learn finds how this archetypal type of the puzzle tale has had an important influence in shaping the immensely renowned style of detective fiction.The bookincludes research of texts from Poe to the current day.
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Additional info for Narratives of Enclosure in Detective Fiction: The Locked Room Mystery (Crime Files)
Rather it ought to be read, I contend, as a psychological narrative, one that locates its terror not in the strange and the magical but rather in the everyday and the prosaic. 29 Cooke’s use of the term ‘psychological’ is interesting in that it allies the fears of safety to a sensory plane other than the physical. This is a central idea to any psychoanalytical reading of ‘The Signalman’; it implies an interaction between the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious effect is characterized by those themes which are familiar constituents of the Dickens oeuvre.
They are never lost but merely dormant. ’38 A Freudian reading of the circumstances in which Dickens produced ‘The Signalman’, in the year following his involvement in the Staplehurst crash, would see the text as an unconscious indication of the The Locked Compartment 31 memory, an indication which is a returning, but modified form, of the original repressed memory. Dickens’s psyche, his ‘writing machine’, produces ‘unconscious traces’ throughout the narrative; often these traces are a part of a double-edged effect of the same subject, a textual site where the conscious and the unconscious meet to produce different hermeneutic outcomes.
38 So, just as the conclusion impacts on the narrative structure, at the same time it makes sense of the anarchic void of the locked room by virtue of a logical solution from the external world. This double alliance of structure and thematic content, the cooperation between the physical and the narratological enclosures, appears as a major force in the working out of the detective story’s closed narrative. The relentless pursuit of logic throughout the text, the exclusive nature of the depiction of enclosure brooks no intrusion from any thematic content which does not contribute to the unfolding of the narrative.