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It's hard to be a saint in the city: notions of city in the Rebus novels of Ian Rankin

Ward, Christopher J. (2010) It's hard to be a saint in the city: notions of city in the Rebus novels of Ian Rankin. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis contends that within the Rebus series of detective novels by Ian Rankin, we find a unique depiction of Edinburgh: one that is equally indebted to American crime fiction and to previous fictional portrayals of the city in Scottish literature. The first chapter takes as a case study Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep", and uses it to draw comparisons between Rankin's Edinburgh and similar methods of writing about city in American crime fiction, particularly the 'hard-boiled' strain that emerged in the 1930s. The second chapter draws upon similarities between the Edinburgh of the Rebus novels and that of Rankin's primary Scottish influences - namely, Muriel Spark's "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie" and Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde" - to establish some kind of continuity in how the city is portrayed across centuries. The third and final chapter focuses specifically upon Rankin's combination of these seemingly disparate elements to create his own idiosyncratic take on Edinburgh, with close readings of the Rebus novels "Hide & Seek", "Set In Darkness" and "Exit Music".

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Ian Rankin, Rebus, Edinburgh, crime fiction, detective fiction, Scottish crime fiction, city fiction, Raymond Chandler, Muriel Spark, Robert Louis Stevenson, Hide & Seek, Set in Darkness, Exit Music, The Big Sleep, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Supervisor's Name: McGuire, Dr. Matthew
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Mr Christopher J Ward
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1865
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:47
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1865

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