The City of Absurdity Papers & Essayes
The Detective in 'Twin Peaks'  by Andreas Blassmann

The Detective in
'Twin Peaks'

Andreas Blassmann
Freiburg University
April 1999


In this thesis I will examine the role of the detective in the television series "Twin Peaks". The character of Special Agent Dale Cooper illustrates the consequences of a border crossing between the detective story (a formula that I will analyze in Chapters one and two) and the formula of the 'Gothic', a genre that I will focus on in Chapters three and four. The detective in TP (abbreviation for "Twin Peaks" in the following) is transformed from an omniscient observer into an active participant in the middle class community. I will discuss the process and the result of Special Agent Dale B. Cooper's transformation in this thesis.


0. Introduction

I. The Murder Mystery

1. The Detective

1.1. The Formula of the Detective Story
1.2. The Classical Detective's Mind and the Setting
1.3. The Setting in 'Twin Peaks'
1.4. The Detective in 'Twin Peaks' The Bi-Part Soul
1.5. Cooper's Tibetan Method A Consumerist ZEN

2. The Detective and the Supernatural

2.1. The Ratiocinative Detective / The Female Victim as Object
2.2. The Red Room Dream / The Female Victim as Subject
2.3. The Giant Vision / Freedom from Fear
2.4. The Solution to the Murder Mystery
2.5. Cooper as Protector of the Middle Class
2.6. Who is BOB ?

II. The Gothic

3. The 'Gothic Soap Opera'

3.1. The Formula of the Gothic
3.2. Serial Killer vs. Serial Detective
3.3. The Gothic Villain's Mind and the Setting
3.4. Finite vs. Infinite Play Cooper vs. Earle

4. The Supernatural Gothic

4.1. The Black Lodge
4.2. Cooper as Gothic Hero in the Black Lodge
4.3. 'Split Selves' in the Black Lodge
4.4. The Doppelganger
4.5. What is BOB? A Return of the Repressed
4.6. Cooper's Failure as Protector of the Middle Class

5. Conclusion

6. Reference List of Sequences

7. Works cited

8. Copyright & Feedback

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