S. S. Van Dine
Lifetime: 1888 - 1939 Passed: ≈ 83 years ago
S. S. Van Dine, also known by his real name Willard Huntington Wright, was an American author and art critic who rose to fame in the 1920s and 1930s. He is best known for his creation of the detective Philo Vance, who appeared in a series of mystery novels that were popular with readers of the time.
Van Dine's principles were centered around his belief in the importance of a well-crafted mystery story. He believed that a mystery should be more than just a puzzle to be solved, but rather an intricate and complex work of art. He was a firm believer in the "fair play" principle, which stated that all the clues necessary to solve the mystery should be presented to the reader, allowing them to solve the puzzle along with the detective.
Van Dine was famous for his detective novels, which were noted for their intricate plots, witty dialogue, and well-drawn characters. His most famous creation, Philo Vance, was a cultured and urbane detective who was known for his clever intellect and deductive skills. Vance appeared in 12 novels, including "The Benson Murder Case," "The Canary Murder Case," and "The Dragon Murder Case." These novels were popular with readers and helped establish Van Dine as one of the leading writers of the genre.
Van Dine's philosophy was centered around his belief in the importance of the detective story as a form of art. He believed that a mystery should be more than just a puzzle to be solved, but rather a carefully crafted work of fiction that could stand on its own as a work of art. He was a firm believer in the power of the written word to engage and entertain readers, and his novels are a testament to this belief.
Van Dine died in 1939 at the age of 49. He is remembered as one of the most influential writers of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and his works are still widely read and enjoyed today.
A fun fact about Van Dine is that he was a prominent art critic and collector, and was once considered one of the leading authorities on modern art in the United States. Despite his success as a writer, he never gave up his love for the arts, and continued to write about art and collect works throughout his life.
In conclusion, S. S. Van Dine was a remarkable figure in the world of mystery fiction, and his works continue to be widely read and enjoyed today. He was a firm believer in the importance of a well-crafted mystery and was known for his intricate plots, witty dialogue, and memorable characters. He will always be remembered as a pioneering figure in the genre, and his novels will remain a testament to his talent and creativity.