Type / Thesis

Spatial Anxiety and Reading Practice: Everyday Life in Agatha Christie’s Detective Novels

Ya-ju Yeh

Page / 91-118


Lauded as “Queen of Crime,” Agatha Christie has been the most prolific writer of the Golden Age. Though inheriting some conventions from her predecessors, her detective genre generates numerous publications and incessant original ideas of detection, poison, and murder. Christie’s designs of plots and roles are vitalized in a structural and social sense since they bear profound witnesses to the ever-changing British society. As repetitive themes in classic detective novels, such as credits of science, reason, and surveillance, always help to consolidate the established legitimacy of ideology and social order, Christie’s works are inevitably subject to the same criticism. Yet, issues about how Christie’s textual space and characters stimulate the reading public’s interest and how their reading experiences develop with such stimulations have not been quite emphasized. Addressing these issues, this paper will focus, first, a spatial trait of Christie’s unique country setting; second, investigate her specific characterization of detective and criminal; last, explore an inter-textual relation concerning how readers appropriate the textual space to their senses of everyday life in the activity of reading and detecting.

Keywords : Agatha Christie, everyday life, de-individuality, theatricality, reading formations
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