Guttzeit, Gero. 2020. “Detecting Bodies: The Dystopian Detective Film and Narratives of Reproduction.” In Medial Bodies Between Fiction and Faction: Reinventing Corporeality, edited by Denisa Butnaru, 165–86. Körperkulturen. Bielefeld: Transcript. Available here.
Guttzeit, Gero. 2016. ““The One Fixed Point in a Changing Age”: Watson, the Narrating Instance, and the Sherlock Holmes Narratives.” In Literature and Cultural Change, edited by Ingo Berensmeyer, Herbert Grabes, and Sonja Schillings. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto, 79–99. REAL: Yearbook of research in English and American literature 32.
Guttzeit, Gero. 2015. “Fearful Fantasy: Figurations of the Oedipus Myth in Scorsese’s Shutter Island (2010).” In Fear and Fantasy in a Global World, edited by Susana Araújo, Marta P. Pinto, and Sandra Bettencourt, 143–62. Amsterdam: Brill. Available here.
The myth of Oedipus and psychoanalysis share a uniquely strong connection in academic work and popular culture, but the myth and its dramatic form in Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus have also played a major role in poetics, especially in genre theory. It furnished Aristotle with his prime example of tragedy in the Poetics, and it has become a commonplace to call Oedipus Tyrannus the first piece of detective fiction. In this essay, I argue that the myth of Oedipus embodies that type of dangerous journey from ignorance to knowledge which constitutes the transmedial narrative form of detective fiction. This archetypal narrative works towards the transformation of anxiety into fear and ultimately the containment of fear. Hence, this essay elaborates on the generic relation between the myth of Oedipus and the genre of detective fiction. Rather than focusing on the parricidal and incestuous content of the Oedipus story, I reinterpret it in terms of narrative form as a drama of knowledge, which is structurally similar to the generic form of the detective’s story. Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island (2010) does not only evince this form of the detective’s story, but is remarkable for the way in which particular anxieties and fears are shown as elements of the constitution and reconstitution of identity by means of investigation. By identifying the investigator with the perpetrator, the film constitutes an example of a (doubly) Oedipal subgenre of detective fiction. Shutter Island, the genre of detective fiction, and the Sophoclean drama are all testament to the power of the mythical narrative form of the journey from ignorance to knowledge to transform anxiety into a fearful fantasy and open the two to an investigative process.
Guttzeit, Gero. 2011. “A Partner in Crime? Review of Rzepka, Charles J.; Lee Horsley (Eds.): A Companion to Crime Fiction.” KULT_online (27). Click for access to full text.
For the series of "Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture", editors Charles J. Rzepka and Lee Horsley offer A Companion to Crime Fiction (2010), an essay collection aimed at undergraduate and graduate students. The 47 contributions to the volume fo cus on the British-American genres of detective and crime fiction and are written by literary and film critics as well as practitioners in the fields. Covering the period from the origins of crime fiction in the eighteenth century up to the present day, the detailed essays in the Companion are based on a variety of theoretical approaches and methodologies ranging from formal criticism to race, class, and gender studies as well as more encyclopaedic approaches. Despite a few terminological shortcomings, such as the inconsistent narratological distinction between detective and crime fiction, the volume constitutes a recommendable introduction, which might also help to further the scholarly discussion of the genre.