Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My James McClure Project

I was going through an exercise using web search tools and different search terms to see how deep I could go with a topic. Google Scholar has links to "Cited by" and "Related articles" which can help you do some deep drilling. My library also has a discovery tool called Summon which indexes many of the databases to which we subscribe as well as the library catalog. And, of course, there is the Google search.

Being that I am a fan of South African crime fiction I used James McClure and his Kramer and Zondi novels as my topic. I found more than I expected, everything from blog posts, scholarly articles, chapters in books, to brief mentions in various works and web sites. My bibliography is up to 25 items now and will grow.

Richard Peck's 1977 book, A Morbid Fascination: White Prose and Politics in Apartheid South Africa, was a significant find and gave me the idea of collecting everything I could about James McClure and turning it into a research project, sort of an everything you wanted to know about McClure and his detective stories. Our Interlibrary Loan Department is aces at getting me books and articles.

This is going to be a long term project, one I can dip into when the spirit moves me. I expect I will need to reread the seven Kramer and Zondi novels several times not to mention the need for background information on apartheid and South African politics.

I intend to post bits of my research as I go along and hope that knowledgeable readers will stumble upon this blog and correct me where I go astray and perhaps steer me toward more material.

And I hoping this will inspire me to make a dent in the backlog of reviews I want to write.