Abstract

Much has been written about Freud's influence on popular culture. This article addresses the influence of literature on Freud's psychoanalytical theory, specifically the role that modern detective fiction played in shaping Freudian theory. Edgar Allan Poe gave Freud the literary precedent; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation Sherlock Holmes gave him the analytical model. In turn, the world of crime story-telling embedded Freudian theories in subsequent forms, spinning the tales of crime into a journey into the human mind. As these tales were popularized on the silver screen in the early 20th century, psychoanalytical ideas moved from the lecture halls into the cultural mainstream.

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