Roman Nikolayevich Kim and the Strange Plots of His Mystery Novellas

in Policing Literary Theory
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Roman Nikolayevich Kim (1899–1967) was a pioneer of Russian detective fiction, whose works have not been researched sufficiently so far. This paper aims to point out the strangeness of his detective novellas’ plots, and to discuss his understanding of both police authority and the subjective reactions to it. Kim never offers satisfactory solutions to the riddles he constructs; rather, he ends his stories but revealing truths that had nothing to do with the detectives’ search. With the latter having lost its raison d’être, Kim overturns the traditional riddle-solving structure, allows for counterfactual readings, and suggests ways of avoiding subjection to authority. This paper discusses these issues, along with Kim’s interest in Freud and, also with Kim’s biographical details.

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