Angell, Pearl and Little God by Winston Graham

By Winston Graham

Was once it Pearl Friedel’s fault she used to be attractive? If she have been undeniable, William Angell, the self-indulgent solicitor and lover of gorgeous issues, could by no means have given her the opportunity to flee the tedium of way of life. It used to be a truly passable association – till Little God stepped in. An bold boxer with a vicious recognition, he sought after Pearl for himself, it doesn't matter what the cost...

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Sample text

This new hero of the dime novel was the avenger detective, an archetype of detective fiction distinguished by his penchant for vigilante justice, his totally implausible talent with disguises—­some would call him an “American Vicdoq”—­and his “uncanny method” with its near “extrasensory perception” (Hoppenstand 3, Cox 2). The classical detective and the avenger detective are men of very different species; to tell one from the other is no more difficult, Gary Hoppenstand notes, than discerning “the difference between the pathfinder, who picked and selected his clues, and the steamroller, which, like a juggernaut, propelled over clues and criminal alike” (136).

Taking the detective genre’s tools as its own, it dramatizes how labor impinges on textuality while precipitating racial difference. It struggles to articulate individual and corporate resistance to a new ideology of industrial democracy, which would empower the working classes to think of themselves as consensual participants in a democratized realm of production. Additionally, in No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger, Twain produces a character well suited to negotiate the commotions of an industrial age.

44’s filial engagement with Heinrich Stein, who generously exploits the stranger while the other workers call for his eviction from the premises. No. 44 fends for himself, endures the merciless bullying of the other men, and doggedly completes demanding menial tasks, exhibiting the kind of excessive investment in his work that matches Washington’s depictions of his own labor in the best-­selling 1901 memoir Up from Slavery. Just as Washington diligently sweeps the recitation room at the Hampton Institute—­the de facto entrance exam that will take him “up from slavery” and into economic solvency, No.

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