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Modern Literature Commons

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American Literature

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1999

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Missing Persons: Cherokee's Parrot And Chatterton's Poet , Leonard R. Koos Jun 1999

Missing Persons: Cherokee's Parrot And Chatterton's Poet , Leonard R. Koos

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This essay explores the problematic nature of selfhood in the detective genre as established by Edgar Allan Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841) and most recently reformulated in two metaphysical detective novels, Jean Echenoz's Cherokee (1983) and Peter Ackroyd's Chatterton (1987). Poe's detective Auguste Dupin is described as having a "Bi-Part Soul," which permits him to vacate himself in order to construct the narrative solution to a crime. This duality, in the postmodern detective novel, is transformed into an irrevocable dislocation of the subject. Cherokee's onomastic devalorization of the story's characters and simulation ...