Cuentos de detectives victorianos by Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Grant

By Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Grant Allen, M. P. Shiel, Victor L. Whitechurch, Fergus Hume, Robert Barr, William E. Burton, Gilbert Campbell, C. L. Pirkis, Arthur Morrison, George R. Sims, M. MacDonnell Bodkin, E. y H. Heron, Cutcli

Esta antología de Cuentos de detectives victorianos, seleccionada por Ana Useros y traducida por Catalina Martínez Muñoz, reúne veintiséis piezas que muestran perfectamente los angeles evolución del género desde sus orígenes (en un cuento redescubierto recientemente, «La cámara secreta», cuatro años anterior a Los crímenes de los angeles calle Morgue de E. A. Poe).

Del detective sabueso que persigue incansable a su presa al genio de l. a. deducción que resuelve crímenes apenas sin moverse de los angeles butaca, del legal tosco y pasional al cerebro impune y refinado, de los actos brutales a las tramas alambicadas vistosas, este volumen permite un ameno recorrido por l. a. historia de un género cuyas bases sentaron no solo autores célebres como Dickens, Wilkie Collins y Conan Doyle sino también excelentes narradores que merecen rescatarse del olvido.

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Perhaps even more remarkable was his ease at sharing his escapist fantasies with the public. Gore Vidal called Burroughs an 舠archetypal American dreamer,舡 by which he meant daydreamer. In his essay 舠Tarzan Revisited,舡 Vidal writes, 舠There are so many things that people who take polls never get around to asking. 舡 Americans do have a great aptitude for daydreaming, even a genius for it, as our mass entertainment industry, the largest and most lucrative in the world, attests to. In 1911, when Burroughs was getting started as a writer, movies were in their early phase, not yet big business.

But then, doesn舗t the species need to reproduce, and wouldn舗t the presence of a beautiful woman add spice to the hero舗s repeated displays of dominance while also offering opportunities for heroic rescues? If we work from the premise that Tarzan of the Apes has enjoyed so much success at least in part because of the gratifications it offers its male readers, then what sort of woman would Burroughs introduce into his narrative? The 舠beautiful white girl舡 enters the story neatly supplied with a suitor, Cecil Clayton, a rival over whom Tarzan can repeatedly prove his superiority.

With all the enthusiasm came detractors, those who said Tarzan was unoriginal, his hero just a variation on Kipling舗s Mowgli, who, in The Jungle Books, is adopted as an infant by wolves. Kipling himself was of this opinion, writing in his autobiography, 舠If it be in your power, bear serenely with imitators. My Jungle Book begot Zoos of them. But the genius of all genii was the one who wrote a series called Tarzan of the Apes. I read it, but regret I never saw it on the films, where it rages most successfully.

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