Includes bibliographical references (pages 319-329) and index.
Introduction: The design of this book -- 1. The study of literary formulas -- 2. Notes toward a typology of literary formulas -- 3. The mythology of crime and its formulaic embodiments -- 4. The formula of the classical detective story -- 5. The art of the classical detective story -- 6. The hard-boiled detective story -- 7. Hammett, Chandler, and Spillane -- 8. The Western: a look at the evolution of a formula -- 9. The best-selling social melodrama.
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