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Narrative Suspense in Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock

Elaine Indrusiak    Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul    

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abstract

This article explores the construction of narrative suspense in Edgar Allan Poe’s and Alfred Hitchcock’s works. Central to their creations is a dual narrative structure that builds tension by articulating two stories in one. Narratological analyses of Poe’s tales and of Hitchcock’s thrillers indicate that their suspense does not stem from gothic topoi, but from plots skilfully wrought to manipulate the readers/viewers’ attention. The first part of the article introduces the concept of narrative suspense. Next, structural principles defended by Poe and Hitchcock are presented. The last two parts discuss narrative techniques in the works by both authors. Given the authors’ influence within their respective media, the analysis has implications for studies of the short story and of the suspense thriller as a narrative genre.

Published
Dec. 17, 2018
Accepted
Dec. 13, 2018
Submitted
Oct. 1, 2018
Language
EN

Keywords: Edgar Allan PoeAlfred HitchcockNarrative suspenseShort storyGothic stories

Copyright: © 2018 Elaine Indrusiak. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.