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Damaged Goods? The Edginess of True Crime

Damaged Goods? The Edginess of True Crime This essay explores the ontological and aesthetic qualities of true crime. With reference to stories set in different regions of the world, produced by writers with hybridised cultural identities, it draws on concepts of ‘truthiness’ (Colbert), ‘depthiness’ (Vermeulen) and ‘eeriness’(Fisher) to show how true crime encodes a neo-modernist aesthetic, marked by attention to place, non-standard verbal forms, and narrative polyphony. However, its ontological dimension also encourages an intense form of participation on the part of the reader-consumer, who, when listening to podcasts or watching television dramas, is fully integrated into the hermeneutic process and might even help solve the crime. My argument is supported by analyses of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (1966), David Peace’s 1980 (2001), Haruki Murakami’s Underground (2013), Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014), Sarah Koenig’s Serial podcast (2014) and the HBO television drama, The Case against Adnan Syed (2019). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Crime Fiction Studies Edinburgh University Press

Damaged Goods? The Edginess of True Crime

Crime Fiction Studies , Volume 3 (2): 19 – Sep 1, 2022

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2517-7982
eISSN
2517-7990
DOI
10.3366/cfs.2022.0071
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay explores the ontological and aesthetic qualities of true crime. With reference to stories set in different regions of the world, produced by writers with hybridised cultural identities, it draws on concepts of ‘truthiness’ (Colbert), ‘depthiness’ (Vermeulen) and ‘eeriness’(Fisher) to show how true crime encodes a neo-modernist aesthetic, marked by attention to place, non-standard verbal forms, and narrative polyphony. However, its ontological dimension also encourages an intense form of participation on the part of the reader-consumer, who, when listening to podcasts or watching television dramas, is fully integrated into the hermeneutic process and might even help solve the crime. My argument is supported by analyses of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (1966), David Peace’s 1980 (2001), Haruki Murakami’s Underground (2013), Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014), Sarah Koenig’s Serial podcast (2014) and the HBO television drama, The Case against Adnan Syed (2019).

Journal

Crime Fiction StudiesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2022

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