Murder- A Dying Art? George Orwell, Raymond Chandler and the Mysterious Death of English Crime Writing

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David Rudrum

Abstract

In February 1946, the pages of Tribune were enlivened with a brief but witty piece by George Orwell, entitled "The Decline of the English Murder." It comes as no surprise, given the roast beef-eating, tea-drinking readership of this kind of writing, that the genre Orwell has in mind is characterised by its quintessential Englishness. The piece both charts and laments the demise of a specific kind of criminal: the English gentleman-murderer, who commits his crimes in a domestic, often suburban setting: whose motives arise largely from status anxiety or sexual repression.

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RUDRUM, David. Murder- A Dying Art? George Orwell, Raymond Chandler and the Mysterious Death of English Crime Writing. SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English, [S.l.], v. 49, n. 1, p. 15-25, may 2017. ISSN 0127-046X. Available at: <https://sare.um.edu.my/article/view/3429>. Date accessed: 25 jan. 2020.
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