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From Page to Screen: Thinking Through The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
Dr Aleksandr Andreas Wansbrough
Fergus Hume’s classic The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886) belongs to the murder mystery crime genre. Detective crime is perhaps the most philosophical genre of popular literature, where a detective searches for truth, asking questions and examining motives, disentangling illusion and reality. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab not only concerns the search for truth and justice, but further considers modern questions about class, gender, and democracy. It is a book that thinks through such considerations in a literary narrative form. The ABC tele-movie adaptation of Hume’s work encounters these very questions. Film, like literature, can be approached as a mode of thinking. As such, the presentation will explore how the ABC production rethought Hume’s most celebrated work, through images and performance and considers what is lost and gained through such an adaptation.
Aleksandr Andreas Wansbrough has a PhD in art theory concerning film and continental philosophy from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. He has numerous publications, both local and international, ranging from journal articles to book chapters. He is the editorial manager of the Journal of Asia-Pacific Pop Culture, published by Penn State and the co-editor of Alterity Studies and World Literature. He is currently developing a book proposal which analyses the use of mythic objects as analogues for contemporary media.
Image: Fergus Hume, c.1885, State Library of Victoria