In praise of crime fiction

A Taste for Death -Times Online.

This leader (link above) in today's Times is a paean of praise for the novels of P. D. James. Whether or not one finds these particular novels the pinnacle of crime fiction, one cannot disagree (well, I can't) with the sentiments expressed in the editorial. Surely this article marks a turning point, in which crime fiction is truly out of the genre box and can stand up to be considered on its own merits (as its aficionados already knew). From the article:

In negotiating his way through the pathways of human destructiveness, Dalgliesh is also a guide to our times. Lady James is a perceptive chronicler of the changing landscape of London; the flux of urban development and the housing market; the corrosive culture of sink estates; the ruthless politics of the professions; and even the use of the internet for hedonistic purposes…….it is her literally forensic insight into crime that remains her most distinctive fictional device. Like Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allan Poe, she has looked at the darkness of the human psyche, and created from it not just entertainment but literature.

Chutzpah in reciprocal space


So you decide to start a blog. What do you decide upon for the title of your first-ever post? "I hate blogs, bloggers and blogging" is the considered decision of Professor Stephen Curry in his inaugural post on his new blog Reciprocal Space. (He's a protein crystallographer.) And it worked. Twenty-eight comments in the first half day. And he gets featured on the Nature Network home page – or rather his blog title does. All that apart, do read it – it is going to be a good one.


Acknowledgement: thanks to Jenny Irving for showing me how to get screenshots into a blog post.