Adolf Mullners Der Kaliber: the first German detective story?

Burns, B. (2005) Adolf Mullners Der Kaliber: the first German detective story? German Life and Letters, 58(1), pp. 1-12. (doi: 10.1111/j.0016-8777.2005.00300.x)

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This article examines Adolf Müllner's novel Der Kaliber. Aus den Papieren eines Kriminalbeamten (1828) as an early example of the detective story genre which has hitherto been overlooked. Müllner was predominantly a writer of 'Schicksalstragödien' who tended to employ melodramatic modes of expression. His novel, however, offers more than the purely sensational, cloak-and-dagger crime stories that had captured public taste in the preceding decades; indeed it is argued that it marks a small but significant point of change in the colourful history of the genre. The study elaborates Van Dine's notion of the detective story as 'a kind of intellectual game', and probes the strengths and weaknesses of the work by analysing the extent to which it both challenges and conforms to inherited assumptions about the victim, the villain and the detective process itself.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burns, Dr Barbara
Authors: Burns, B.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > German
Journal Name:German Life and Letters

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