flarenut (flarenut) wrote,

Pierre Menard, author of The Leavenworth Case

Gutenberg's detective section is most politely described as uneven.

I was on tenterhooks reading this particular piece of shite, because I just couldn't believe the plot would be so convolutedly stupid, that so many people would give vent to so much purple, that the narrator would be such a nattering popinjay.

Then I considered that if such passages were written today they would be a tour de force of irony and social commentary. Still shite, but masterful shite. What writer today could take seriously the idea of a narrator driven almost entirely by chivalry, botching clue after clue through delicacy of feeling? How could there be anything but wheels within wheels in a murder motive depending on ethnic prejudice and Hinckley-level stalker love? What if the whole lack of coherent sense were really a brilliant nihilistic sendup?

Mais non.

Tags: books

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