William MarlingWilliam Marling is an English professor at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, best known for his scholarship on detective novels, globalization, and American Modernism. He is also an occasional free-lance writer and photographer. Born in Chicago, he grew up in Cincinnati, OH, and then attended the University of Utah, where he majored in Journalism (B.A.) and American Literature (M.A.) He was editor of the Daily Utah Chronicle, worked for KCPX-TV, KUER-FM, the Salt Lake Tribune and the UPI, winning the Wm. Randolph Hearst Prize for investigative journalism twice. Moving to New York City, he wrote for the Time-Life magazines Fortune and Money and free-lanced for Harper's, Mountain Gazette and other magazines. After a Newspaper Guild strike at Time-Life, he left for the University of California - Santa Barbara where he received his Ph.D. in English, writing a dissertation on William Carlos Williams and the Painters, 1901-1925, which was later published as a book. Subsequently he wrote Dashiell Hammett (1983) Raymond Chandler (1986), The American Roman Noir (1995), and How 'American' in Globalization? (2006) Marling is currently writing about the rise of "world literature."

An enthusiastic traveler, Marling has lived for several years in France, teaching two years at the Universite d'Avignon. He has been Fulbright Professor at the Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao, Spain and at the Universitat Wien in Austria, as well as Drake Chair of American Studies at Kobe College in Japan and the Edward Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Marling lives in Beachwood, OH. with his wife Raili Marling, an American Studies and Gender Studies scholar. He has two children: Robin, an officer in the U.S. Navy, and Daniel, a student at Ohio University.


Marling's first love was and is Modernism -- authors such as Williams, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, Marcel Duchamp, Djuna Barnes, and e.e. cummings. He has written that "Looking back, I see that most of my work has been concerned with the way that visual values, from painting to film, from material objects and popular culture, appear in literature. After the book on Williams, I turned to detective novelists. Why? A former professor of mine, Kenneth Eble, asked me to write Dashiell Hammett, who appeared to me a kind of Modernist too. Then I got interested in Raymond Chandler, did a book on him, and finally wrote The American Roman Noir, incorporating the films that grew from these novels. But I don't have detective novels piled beside my bed; only the most innovative of them (Paul Auster, lately) spur me to write about them. I am currently at work on a book about the import/export of World Literature. After that, I'd like to write a book on 1950s noir that will include Frank Sinatra, Nelson Algren, the photographer Weegee, and Jim Thompson."




Marling's Academic Websites

Noir Detective Novels

The go-to source for information on the American crime and detective novel from 1920 to 1980, featuring biography, plot summary, and analysis, from the Black Mask writers through Kem Nunn Mosely and Sue Grafton. Nominated for an ACA Award in 2012.

Visual Sources of American Modernism

Written with graduate students, this prize-winning site features papers that link Loy, Faulkner, Stein et al to visual inspirations from film to cubism to the "Fifth Dimension."

Picturepro.org - coming soon: photos from Japan (sumo, archery, kenka matsuri, India, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and France. Historic photos of Peru, Italy, Spain, and Ohio.

Marling's On-line Scholarship

The Formal Ideologeme

James M. Cain's 'Tyger Woman'

The Style of The Maltese Falcon

Paul Auster and the American Romantics

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The Parable ( en Francais)

Metanymic Sources of the American Detective Novel

Mobile Phones as Narrative Tropes

The Vague Aches of Interns

Publics, Counter-publics and Film Noir Now

Corridor to Clarifty: Sight and Sensuality in William Carlos Williams' poems

The Dynamics of Vision in William Carlos Williams and Charles Sheeler

Globalisms - Real and Imaginary