Birth of American Detective Fiction
fiction to Sherlock Holmes
OK, what has the early beginnings of Amercan
fiction got to do with Sherlock Holmes? Well, to be honest, not a lot
per se. However it is quite interesting, and my personal
interests are not exclusively Sherlockian in the realms of detective
fiction. I like to write
about what interests me, and it is relevant in
as much that Sherlock Holmes was a fictional detective. No doubt Arthur
Conan Doyle's influence extended across the "pond".
has been said that the
American detective story began sometime in the late nineteenth century.
critics give credit to an author
named Anna Katherine Green for
American version of what was already an interest in Europe. Shortly
budding of what we call the beginning of American detective fiction,
realization was that even the first American detective story was
some way by Europe.
it was influenced
by one of the earlier novels such as Collins, or even by one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s
Sherlock Holmes tales,
it is uncertain, but it was almost certainly derived from Europe. The
themes all point to the European influence and rules.
It was later largely
realized that the most significant difference
between the American version and the English version is the language,
nations divided by the same language!) The American crime story is much
harsh and blunt.
language that an
American crime story entails is various and is much like the blend in
current society whereas the language in a classic English derived crime
is more upper class English and not as corrupt with obscenities or just
old regular American dialogue. American crime stories blend perfectly
everyday speech that is commonly heard in this vast melting pot of
cultures and heritages
pulp fiction stories
were truly the first real stories that can be called American in almost
sense. The corruption of the social life in America and the prohibition
was ongoing in larger cities spurred a sort of revolution. This
had to show its face somewhere and pulp fiction stories became the
choice for many writers.
The Black Mask was one such pulp magazine
that actually lasted for quite some time before finally being killed
sometime in the nineteen fifties.
magazine stories gave
way to the hard–boiled detective stories around the nineteen twenties.
type of story focused on the tough guy detective. They were stories of
gangsters and the like. They were definitely no comparison to Sherlock
who despite his cleverness, was not perceived as being much of a tough
American detective fiction appeared in the late twenties and the early
made this action more popular among writers
and publishers alike. Even
these stories that were made into books had most likely already
pulp magazine publications somewhere along the line, the writer
of the best available.
was not common to allow
someone who was not one of the best in the field to be published,
only the top pulp writers
were offered such a special achievement.
simply not good enough, by publishing quality standards, to spend the
opened the door to
television and the detective program was born. This type of show
short story that was acted out on live television. Many of these were
acted and had poor characters in the early days, but they were able to
evolve over the years into
something much more desirable to watch. With some of the current crop
actually quite good. Personally, I recommend Jeremy Brett’s portrayal
Sherlock Holmes in the Granada (UK) television series made between 1984
1994. These are repeated regularly, and deservedly so I think.
If you havn't done so yet, and
you want to order the "GOLD Sherlock Holmes collection" on CD just
click the order button below. If you need to refresh your memory about
anything or you only want to order the "Complete Sherlock Holmes
Collection" click the link below to take you back to the home page.