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International Journal of Literary Culture / Internationale Zeitschrift für literarische Kultur

Ed. by Biti, Vladimir / Liska, Vivian

CiteScore 2018: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.122
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.329

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Volume 53, Issue 1


Ex Uno Plures: Global French in, on and of the Rue Morgue and the Orient Express

Alistair Rolls
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  • University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, AustraliaUniversity of NewcastleCallaghan, NSW 2308Australia
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Published Online: 2018-06-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/arcadia-2018-0004


In the following paper, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express are considered, and compared, as exemplars of what Andrea Goulet has labelled “Global French,” which is to say that both texts convey non-English, and especially French, language use through their own original English. Both texts will be shown to be born in, stage, and depart from primal linguistic scenes: the Babelian confusion of Poe’s multiple foreign witnesses will be embodied in the impediments that keep them from the scene of the crime; in Christie’s case, the multilingual investigation on board the Orient Express will stand in place of stilted and curtailed conversation held, in the Global French of Christie’s English, on the platform of another train. As sites of original translation and communicative excess and failure, these classic texts are about language first and crime second; indeed, the murder on Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express embodies taking place but, ultimately, does not take place at all.

Keywords: Agatha Christie; Edgar Allan Poe; Global French; primal scene; end-orientation; fiction; crime fiction mobility; différance

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About the article

Published Online: 2018-06-05

Published in Print: 2018-06-04

Citation Information: arcadia, Volume 53, Issue 1, Pages 39–60, ISSN (Online) 1613-0642, ISSN (Print) 0003-7982, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/arcadia-2018-0004.

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