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Odoevsky's Four Pathways into Modern FictionA Comparative Study$
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Neil Cornwell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082092

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082092.001.0001

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Seerman: the rise of the psychic detective

Seerman: the rise of the psychic detective

(p.62) 3 Seerman: the rise of the psychic detective
Odoevsky's Four Pathways into Modern Fiction

Neil Cornwell

Manchester University Press

This chapter notes early detective fiction in works by Schiller, Hoffmann and Poe, prior to an examination of the figure of the uncle in Odoevsky's The Salamander—this personage here being proposed as a proto-‘psychic doctor’. The discussion considers examples of such a figure, in Anglo-Irish and English literature up to the Edwardian era. It assesses works by Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood and, again, Hodgson. Such a protagonist is then seen to recede, in the main into a more parodic treatment. A concluding section notes the reappearance at least of such motifs in recent ‘metaphysical detective’ fiction.

Keywords:   detective fiction, The Salamander, psychic doctor, Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood, Odoevsky

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