Approaching the threshold(s) in postmodern detective fiction: Hawthorne's "Wakefield" and other missing persons. (author Nathaniel Hawthorne)(Paul Auster issue)

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From: CRITIQUE: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
Date: 19980322
Author:Swope, Richard

Some postmodern detective fiction deals with characters based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's Wakefield character. Categories of Wakefields might be the in-between, the urban and the supernatural. Key motifs are ontological thresholds, insanity, the uncertainty of selfhood, fear of losing a place in the world. Detectives become missing persons themselves and face homelessness, perhaps never to return. Authors whose works exemplify the postmodern approach include Joseph McElroy, Paul Auster, Don De Lillo, Thomas Pynchon, John Fowles and Peter Ackroyd.

Ever since Michael Holquist suggested that what ...

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