Authentic vs. Inauthentic Debate: Kōga Saburō on Purofīru

Kōga Saburō

After sporadic debates with writers in Shinseinen, Kōga started serializing an essay “Tantei shōsetsu kōwa” (探偵小説講話; English: The Lecture on Detective Fiction) from January 1935 in the detective fiction magazine Purofīru (ぷろふぃる; English: Profile) published it monthly until the December issue of the same year. The lecture was first and foremost intended to be a guide for writing detective fiction, but he met massive criticism about his insistence on the “authentic.” Kōga recognizes two elements in detective fiction, which are the detective elements (means of murder, clues, fair play, unexpected resolution, and analysis of the resolution) and the fictional elements (plot, suspense, style, character, and settings). Although two elements have to be well balanced in order to make a good detective fiction, he concludes that it is the detective elements that ultimately make a story detective fiction. (Saito, 77-78)
*You can read Kōga’s fictional works here (full text in Japanese).

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