Stephen Knight, Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction, Melbourne University Press, 1997 pp 236, $24.95 pb.

Kelly, Veronica (1998) Stephen Knight, Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction, Melbourne University Press, 1997 pp 236, $24.95 pb.. Journal of Australian Studies, 22 56: 193-194. doi:10.1080/14443059809387372


Author Kelly, Veronica
Title Stephen Knight, Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction, Melbourne University Press, 1997 pp 236, $24.95 pb.
Formatted title
Stephen Knight, Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction, Melbourne University Press, 1997 pp 236, $24.95 pb.
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1835-6419
1444-3058
Publication date 1998-01-01
Sub-type Review of book, film, TV, video, software, performance, music etc
DOI 10.1080/14443059809387372
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 22
Issue 56
Start page 193
End page 194
Total pages 2
Place of publication Abingdon, U.K.
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 2005 Literary Studies
200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Abstract The book is lucidly written in an accessible style which renders complex theoretical arguments comprehensible. It displays the intimate knowledge of the scholarly enthusiast and the clear-eyed scepticism of one who, like Cliff Hardy, has heard too much bullshit to take everything at surface value. Knight is however on the trail of a grand theory, offered with modest and provisional authority, about how crime fiction constructs and negotiates vitally important issues of Australian culture, providing 'a whole history of political domination [and] national and international responses made to it'. On the way he provides information about the publication, distribution and international situation of the Australian popular writer. For the benefit of literary historians he outlines distinctive and even unique Australian narrative preferences; criminal sagas, goldfields (petit bourgeois) mysteries, and stories with 'zero-detection' or 'zero-setting'. Police procedurals (who trusts cops?) and amateur sleuths (too English) have a thin run of it here except, oddly, with women writers.
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Published under "Reviews"

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Review of book, film, TV, video, software, performance, music etc
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 13 Jul 2010, 02:45:44 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of Faculty of Arts