Schlink Paper

Schlink Paper - Melissa Harintho GE 13186-01, McChesney Our...

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Melissa Harintho GE 13186-01, McChesney Our Dear Self In his essay, “Whodunit and Other Questions: Metaphysical Detective Stories in Postwar Fiction,” Michael Holquist states that in the new detective novel, “the solution must be found in the experience of the reader himself” (Holquist 168). While the original authors of the detective genre, such as Edgar Allen Poe, were able to explain obscure incidents by strict use of reason, postmodern authors of the detective genre merely incorporate such structured patterns into “a kind of narrative sandwich which has all the clichés of detective fiction” (173). Instead of an emphasis on reason and organization, the distinguishing mark in the shift to the postmodern detective genre is the emergence of a new relationship between the detective and the reader on the same side of the crime as opposed to competitors pitted against each other in the race to solve an extraordinary mystery. This shift in the detective novel comes to light in Bernhard Schlink’s novel, “Self’s Punishment,” in which Schlink illustrates the postmodern detective’s new, vital sense of human emotion through first person narration in order to develop the relationship between the detective and his reader. The first person point of view permits the reader to observe Self’s thoughts and reactions on a more personal level. In the beginning of the novel, Schlink displays the disparity in personality between Self and his lifelong friend (also the criminal) Korten. The unorthodox juxtaposition of the detective and the criminal allows for an intimate
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Schlink Paper - Melissa Harintho GE 13186-01, McChesney Our...

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