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Catching up

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  • Bob Schneider
    I ve gotten way behind in reading the posts this summer so here are some toss offs: Mathematics in mysteries---as Mike Grost notes on his website; two Nero
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 6, 2008
      I've gotten way behind in reading the posts this summer so here are
      some toss offs:

      Mathematics in mysteries---as Mike Grost notes on his website; two
      Nero Wolfe novellas feature math----"Poison a la Carte" and "The Zero
      Clue".

      My three favorite all-time movies:
      Bringing Up Baby
      The Maltese Falcon
      The Searchers

      Speaking of films---I finally got access to Turner Classic Movies
      recently. Caught portions of Raffles(1930) starring Ronald Coleman.
      The plot was not anything special but I thought that Coleman did a
      magnificent job of portraying Raffles (at least as I imagined
      Raffles). Also, Bunny was portrayed somewhat as I imagined him.
      Coleman even played a bit of cricket during the movie. Does anyone
      know if the earlier John Barrymore version or the later David Niven
      version showed Raffles actually playing cricket? Were those other
      versions any good?

      Bob
    • monescu4
      I ve never seen the Barrymore Raffles (though I know it still it exists and is available without inordinate effort), but I have seen (and possess) the Niven
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 7, 2008
        I've never seen the Barrymore "Raffles" (though I know it still it
        exists and is available without inordinate effort), but I have seen
        (and possess) the Niven version. The film is a nearly scene-for-
        scene remake of the Colman version, with an important distinction in
        the last moment of the film: the Niven Raffles decides to turn
        himself in (the production code at work). Niven is indeed shown to
        be playing cricket-- at one point on a 1939 television transmission
        showing at Scotland Yard (I didn't know about televised cricket in
        1939 Great Britain, but it's right there on the screen!). The Colman
        version is superior, but the Niven film isn't bad.

        - Scott

        --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Bob Schneider"
        <speedymystery@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've gotten way behind in reading the posts this summer so here
        are
        > some toss offs:
        >
        > Mathematics in mysteries---as Mike Grost notes on his website; two
        > Nero Wolfe novellas feature math----"Poison a la Carte" and "The
        Zero
        > Clue".
        >
        > My three favorite all-time movies:
        > Bringing Up Baby
        > The Maltese Falcon
        > The Searchers
        >
        > Speaking of films---I finally got access to Turner Classic Movies
        > recently. Caught portions of Raffles(1930) starring Ronald
        Coleman.
        > The plot was not anything special but I thought that Coleman did a
        > magnificent job of portraying Raffles (at least as I imagined
        > Raffles). Also, Bunny was portrayed somewhat as I imagined him.
        > Coleman even played a bit of cricket during the movie. Does
        anyone
        > know if the earlier John Barrymore version or the later David
        Niven
        > version showed Raffles actually playing cricket? Were those other
        > versions any good?
        >
        > Bob
        >
      • Mary Reed
        GADers! In part, Allan recently observed But characters in novels of the early 20th century are motivated to do extraordinary things for the sake of honour,
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 20, 2013
          GADers!

          In part, Allan recently observed "But characters in novels of the early
          20th century are motivated to do extraordinary things for the sake of
          honour, or patriotism".

          Agreed! In an essay elsewhere a few years back I touched upon this
          point in speaking of GAD novels, when i opined that....

          It was an era when men were praised for being decent and clean in mind and
          body. A man's word was his bond, and a rotter caught cheating at cards was
          socially ruined and/or had to resign from his club and regiment. Honour and
          devotion to duty were the norm, as was serving King and country as
          demonstrated in John Buchan's Greenmantle. During the search for the
          titular character, a matter of grave importance during the First World
          War, a character reveals his identity by addressing an arch-villainess
          thus: "You must know, madam, that I am a British officer." Immediately
          she -- and the reader -- knows her nasty game is up.

          Mary R
          http://home.earthlink.net/~maywrite
        • Allan Griffith
          ... Exactly. It was a better cleaner world then. People today seem to imagine that the people of a century ago lived in a simpler world. That isn t really
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
            On 21 September 2013 10:09, Mary Reed <maywrite@...> wrote:
            GADers!

            In part, Allan recently observed "But characters in novels of the early
            20th century are motivated to do extraordinary things for the sake of
            honour, or patriotism".

            Agreed!  In an essay elsewhere a few years back I touched upon this
            point in speaking of GAD novels, when i opined that....

            It was an era when men were praised for being decent and clean in mind and
            body. A man's word was his bond, and a rotter caught cheating at cards was
            socially ruined and/or had to resign from his club and regiment. Honour and
            devotion to duty were the norm, as was serving King and country as
            demonstrated in John Buchan's Greenmantle. During the search for the
            titular character, a matter of grave importance during the First World
            War, a character reveals his identity by addressing an arch-villainess
            thus: "You must know, madam, that I am a British officer." Immediately
            she -- and the reader -- knows her nasty game is up.

            Mary R
            http://home.earthlink.net/~maywrite

            Exactly. It was a better cleaner world then. People today seem to imagine that the people of a century ago lived in a simpler world. That isn't really true. It was a very different world and in my opinion a better one but it was just as complex as our world and the people who lived then weren't simpler than us, they just had different motivations.

            Al
          • Ronald Smyth
            Bah humbug.   Was it a better cleaner world when the United States seized the Philippines and General Jacob Hurd Smith ordered the killing of every Filipino
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
              Bah humbug. 
               Was it a better cleaner world when the United States seized the Philippines and General Jacob Hurd Smith ordered the killing of every Filipino man over the age of ten? (Even if he was court-martialed for it.) When Britain seized South Africa and invented the concentration camp? (Yes, I know they were not designed to murder their inmates unlike the Nazi version but they were still horrible.)
              And of course those social conventions had to be enforced. A black man could be lynched for trivial reasons, Indian children were seized from their families and forced into white schools, women were not allowed to vote, labour conditions were appalling and both sides used poison gas in WWI. Oh yes, so much more decent and clean. Not. But I do agree that it was a different world.
              The conventions were different but people still found reasons to be vile. I can remember in the 1970's reading about the death of a woman who had been locked up in an insane asylum since the 1920's who was no more insane than anyone else but a sanctimonious judge had declared her "morally insane" for having TWO children out of wedlock. How dare she have a different standard of morality than decent folk like himself.
              Spies like Philby, Burgess and MacLean were able to betray entire generations because they went to the right schools and were therefor "gentlemen" and as such must be trustworthy. Again, bah, humbug. 
              People were not really different then even if the expectations were based on a different code. What makes morality difficult is that the choices are seldom between good and evil. They tend to be choices between this good versus that good or this evil versus that evil with the final results of those choices hidden in a dim and unknown future. Eugenics was quite popular in North America in the 1920's before WWII showed where it was leading us.
              But have we changed? How many people, who think Saddam Hussein was a monster, remember that as many as 500,00 infants in Iraq died as a result of the sanctions placed on that country. How many know that not one but two UN Humanitarian Coordinators (Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck) resigned, accusing the sanctions regime of violating the Geneva Conventions and other international laws. Were we really any better than Saddam?
              It always makes me wonder just what the future will think of the standards and actions we are using and committing today. What common deeds of today will horrify our descendants. Burning coal for energy? Driving gas powered vehicles? An aunt of mine born in 1900 once told me that when she was a girl having sex outside of marriage was considered to be as bad a moral crime as murder. I'm quite sure that some people would have punished them equally harshly also.
              If the past seems cleaner it's only because large parts of it we simply choose not to remember.
              Ron Smyth
              From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
              To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 6:50:48 AM
              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Catching up
               
              On 21 September 2013 10:09, Mary Reed <maywrite@...> wrote:
              GADers!

              In part, Allan recently observed "But characters in novels of the early
              20th century are motivated to do extraordinary things for the sake of
              honour, or patriotism".

              Agreed!  In an essay elsewhere a few years back I touched upon this
              point in speaking of GAD novels, when i opined that....

              It was an era when men were praised for being decent and clean in mind and
              body. A man's word was his bond, and a rotter caught cheating at cards was
              socially ruined and/or had to resign from his club and regiment. Honour and
              devotion to duty were the norm, as was serving King and country as
              demonstrated in John Buchan's Greenmantle. During the search for the
              titular character, a matter of grave importance during the First World
              War, a character reveals his identity by addressing an arch-villainess
              thus: "You must know, madam, that I am a British officer." Immediately
              she -- and the reader -- knows her nasty game is up.

              Mary R
              http://home.earthlink.net/~maywrite

              Exactly. It was a better cleaner world then. People today seem to imagine that the people of a century ago lived in a simpler world. That isn't really true. It was a very different world and in my opinion a better one but it was just as complex as our world and the people who lived then weren't simpler than us, they just had different motivations.

              Al
            • Xavier Lechard
              Ahem. Might we please keep politics out of this group? Friendly, Xavier
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
                Ahem. Might we please keep politics out of this group?

                Friendly,
                Xavier
              • Allan Griffith
                ... Agreed. We should certainly get back to detective fiction, which I shall do immediately. Al
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
                  On 22 September 2013 04:44, Xavier Lechard <lechardxavier@...> wrote:


                  Ahem. Might we please keep politics out of this group?

                  Friendly,
                  Xavier

                  Agreed. We should certainly get back to detective fiction, which I shall do immediately.

                  Al
                • S. T. Karnick
                  This is a very passionate apologia for moral relativism, but I don t think it makes any kind of case for appreciation of the Golden Age of Detection (and
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
                    This is a very passionate apologia for moral relativism, but I don't think it makes any kind of case for appreciation of the Golden Age of Detection (and indeed no such intent is discernible, as others have noted). I found Mary's and Allan's comments quite interesting, however, as they do make such a case, regardless of whether one may share their point of view. I believe that the sort of firmness of conviction and worldview that Mary and Allan are talking about is essential to the appeal of the GAD. One could be a leftist like the Ellery Queen authors or a conservative like Carr, but in either case there is a strong sense of a firm moral code at the center of the GAD works typically deemed most satisfying by the regular participants in this august tribunal.

                    Pursuant to that thought, I find that Allan's earlier observation about the fundamental importance that an appreciation of rule of law has in the appeal of detective puzzle fiction is spot-on. This, to me, is a subject well worth discussing, though I'm sure most on this list would appreciate individuals' personal thoughts on the political controversies of the ages were kept out of it. The question then becomes, to what degree is a decline in what we might call confidence in Western belief in rule of law in the past several decades the motivating force behind what we may perceive to be a decline in appreciation of the detective puzzle style of mystery? I shall stick my head up above the parapet and say I think it's one of the most important things, and that the rise of moral relativism (which I mean as a descriptive term, not a pejorative) is of equal and possibly greater importance.

                    Best,

                    Sam Karnick

                    --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, Ronald Smyth <ronsmyth2005@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Bah humbug. 
                    >  Was it a better cleaner world when the United States seized the Philippines and General Jacob Hurd Smith ordered the killing of every Filipino man over the age of ten? (Even if he was court-martialed for it.) When Britain seized South Africa and invented the concentration camp? (Yes, I know they were not designed to murder their inmates unlike the Nazi version but they were still horrible.)
                    > And of course those social conventions had to be enforced. A black man could be lynched for trivial reasons, Indian children were seized from their families and forced into white schools, women were not allowed to vote, labour conditions were appalling and both sides used poison gas in WWI. Oh yes, so much more decent and clean. Not. But I do agree that it was a different world.
                    > The conventions were different but people still found reasons to be vile. I can remember in the 1970's reading about the death of a woman who had been locked up in an insane asylum since the 1920's who was no more insane than anyone else but a sanctimonious judge had declared her "morally insane" for having TWO children out of wedlock. How dare she have a different standard of morality than decent folk like himself.
                    > Spies like Philby, Burgess and MacLean were able to betray entire generations because they went to the right schools and were therefor "gentlemen" and as such must be trustworthy. Again, bah, humbug. 
                    > People were not really different then even if the expectations were based on a different code. What makes morality difficult is that the choices are seldom between good and evil. They tend to be choices between this good versus that good or this evil versus that evil with the final results of those choices hidden in a dim and unknown future. Eugenics was quite popular in North America in the 1920's before WWII showed where it was leading us.
                    > But have we changed? How many people, who think Saddam Hussein was a monster, remember that as many as 500,00 infants in Iraq died as a result of the sanctions placed on that country. How many know that not one but two UN Humanitarian Coordinators (Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck) resigned, accusing the sanctions regime of violating the Geneva Conventions and other international laws. Were we really any better than Saddam?
                    > It always makes me wonder just what the future will think of the standards and actions we are using and committing today. What common deeds of today will horrify our descendants. Burning coal for energy? Driving gas powered vehicles? An aunt of mine born in 1900 once told me that when she was a girl having sex outside of marriage was considered to be as bad a moral crime as murder. I'm quite sure that some people would have punished them equally harshly also.
                    > If the past seems cleaner it's only because large parts of it we simply choose not to remember.
                    > Ron Smyth
                    > From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                    > To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 6:50:48 AM
                    > Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Catching up
                    >
                    >  
                    > On 21 September 2013 10:09, Mary Reed <maywrite@...> wrote:
                    > GADers!
                    > >
                    > >In part, Allan recently observed "But characters in novels of the early
                    > >20th century are motivated to do extraordinary things for the sake of
                    > >honour, or patriotism".
                    > >
                    > >Agreed!  In an essay elsewhere a few years back I touched upon this
                    > >point in speaking of GAD novels, when i opined that....
                    > >
                    > >It was an era when men were praised for being decent and clean in mind and
                    > >body. A man's word was his bond, and a rotter caught cheating at cards was
                    > >socially ruined and/or had to resign from his club and regiment. Honour and
                    > >devotion to duty were the norm, as was serving King and country as
                    > >demonstrated in John Buchan's Greenmantle. During the search for the
                    > >titular character, a matter of grave importance during the First World
                    > >War, a character reveals his identity by addressing an arch-villainess
                    > >thus: "You must know, madam, that I am a British officer." Immediately
                    > >she -- and the reader -- knows her nasty game is up.
                    > >
                    > >Mary R
                    > >http://home.earthlink.net/~maywrite
                    >
                    > Exactly. It was a better cleaner world then. People today seem to imagine that the people of a century ago lived in a simpler world. That isn't really true. It was a very different world and in my opinion a better one but it was just as complex as our world and the people who lived then weren't simpler than us, they just had different motivations.
                    >
                    > Al
                    >
                  • Monte Herridge
                    I agee. Political talk can cause a lot of dissension. Monte Herridge ... From: Xavier Lechard To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, September 21,
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
                      I agee.  Political talk can cause a lot of dissension.
                       
                       
                      Monte Herridge
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 1:44 PM
                      Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Catching up

                      Ahem. Might we please keep politics out of this group?

                      Friendly,
                      Xavier
                    • Ronald Smyth
                      To me the main difference between GA detection and modern criminal fiction is simply the emphasis on the puzzle in GAD and the emphasis on the detective in the
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
                        To me the main difference between GA detection and modern criminal fiction is simply the emphasis on the puzzle in GAD and the emphasis on the detective in the latter. That is, plot versus character.

                        Ron Smyth
                        From: S. T. Karnick <stkarnick@...>
                        To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 3:22:36 PM
                        Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Worldview(s) of GAD [Was: Catching up]
                         
                        This is a very passionate apologia for moral relativism, but I don't think it makes any kind of case for appreciation of the Golden Age of Detection (and indeed no such intent is discernible, as others have noted). I found Mary's and Allan's comments quite interesting, however, as they do make such a case, regardless of whether one may share their point of view. I believe that the sort of firmness of conviction and worldview that Mary and Allan are talking about is essential to the appeal of the GAD. One could be a leftist like the Ellery Queen authors or a conservative like Carr, but in either case there is a strong sense of a firm moral code at the center of the GAD works typically deemed most satisfying by the regular participants in this august tribunal.

                        Pursuant to that thought, I find that Allan's earlier observation about the fundamental importance that an appreciation of rule of law has in the appeal of detective puzzle fiction is spot-on. This, to me, is a subject well worth discussing, though I'm sure most on this list would appreciate individuals' personal thoughts on the political controversies of the ages were kept out of it. The question then becomes, to what degree is a decline in what we might call confidence in Western belief in rule of law in the past several decades the motivating force behind what we may perceive to be a decline in appreciation of the detective puzzle style of mystery? I shall stick my head up above the parapet and say I think it's one of the most important things, and that the rise of moral relativism (which I mean as a descriptive term, not a pejorative) is of equal and possibly greater importance.

                        Best,

                        Sam Karnick

                      • curt evans
                        There’s no question that much of the highly praised crime fiction today is “dark” and certainly admired works like those by Jim Thompson are nihilistic,
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
                          There’s no question that much of the highly praised crime fiction today is “dark” and certainly admired works like those by Jim Thompson are nihilistic, but it’s not true to say all mystery fiction written today is of that sort.  There’s actually a great variety of the stuff today.
                           
                          Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 10:02 PM
                          Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Re: Worldview(s) of GAD [Was: Catching up]
                           
                           

                          To me the main difference between GA detection and modern criminal fiction is simply the emphasis on the puzzle in GAD and the emphasis on the detective in the latter. That is, plot versus character.
                           
                          Ron Smyth
                          From: S. T. Karnick <stkarnick@...>
                          To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 3:22:36 PM
                          Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Worldview(s) of GAD [Was: Catching up]
                           
                          This is a very passionate apologia for moral relativism, but I don't think it makes any kind of case for appreciation of the Golden Age of Detection (and indeed no such intent is discernible, as others have noted). I found Mary's and Allan's comments quite interesting, however, as they do make such a case, regardless of whether one may share their point of view. I believe that the sort of firmness of conviction and worldview that Mary and Allan are talking about is essential to the appeal of the GAD. One could be a leftist like the Ellery Queen authors or a conservative like Carr, but in either case there is a strong sense of a firm moral code at the center of the GAD works typically deemed most satisfying by the regular participants in this august tribunal.

                          Pursuant to that thought, I find that Allan's earlier observation about the fundamental importance that an appreciation of rule of law has in the appeal of detective puzzle fiction is spot-on. This, to me, is a subject well worth discussing, though I'm sure most on this list would appreciate individuals' personal thoughts on the political controversies of the ages were kept out of it. The question then becomes, to what degree is a decline in what we might call confidence in Western belief in rule of law in the past several decades the motivating force behind what we may perceive to be a decline in appreciation of the detective puzzle style of mystery? I shall stick my head up above the parapet and say I think it's one of the most important things, and that the rise of moral relativism (which I mean as a descriptive term, not a pejorative) is of equal and possibly greater importance.

                          Best,

                          Sam Karnick

                        • Allan Griffith
                          ... There s considerable truth in that. But when the focus becomes almost entirely on the personality of the detective then it s not really detective fiction
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 21, 2013
                            On 22 September 2013 13:02, Ronald Smyth <ronsmyth2005@...> wrote:


                            To me the main difference between GA detection and modern criminal fiction is simply the emphasis on the puzzle in GAD and the emphasis on the detective in the latter. That is, plot versus character.

                            Ron Smyth

                            There's considerable truth in that. But when the focus becomes almost entirely on the personality of the detective then it's not really detective fiction any more. It's simply yet another psychological novel, and such novels all too often degenerate into self-pity and pointless navel-gazing. One can take only so much tortured introspection and self-loathing.

                            Plot has been rather unfashionable in "serious literature" for quite some time. The results have not been all that satisfactory. I don't know what the situation is like elsewhere but in Australia it's produced a situation where writers of "serious literature" have to be subsidised by the government because so few people want to read their books.

                            I think it's also led to a situation where crime fiction has become so dull that it has to contain a very large amount of graphic violence in order to sell. So the readers aren't buying the books for the navel-gazing angst, they're buying them for the graphic and in many cases almost pornographic violence.

                            Al
                          • Meredith Whitford
                            I quite agree about Australian serious literature and find most of it unreadable. (NB: I m Australian, from Adelaide.) I don t think Australia produces any
                            Message 13 of 15 , Sep 22, 2013
                              I quite agree about Australian "serious literature" and find most of it unreadable. (NB: I'm Australian, from Adelaide.) I don't think Australia produces any really good crime fiction either, altho I do enter a special plea for "The Broken Shore", which stood out just because of its unusual excellence in every way.

                              I admit to enjoying a good, gory serial killer novel -- e.g. I like Stuart MacBride, representing Scotland and the concept that the criminal is a nasty little toerag who deserves what's coming to him, and Jonathon Kellerman in the American corner -- and I have always loved Reginald Hill and was saddened beyond words when he died recently. But otherwise, give me GA or that rare thing, a really good 'cosy' in the GA tradition if not style, and I am happy. As long as it isn't weighted down with a 'message'.

                              Meredith



                               
                              Award-winning author of TREASON and LOVE'S WILL/SHAKESPEARE'S WILL (fiction)
                              and now of JESSICA MITFORD: CHURCHILL'S REBEL (biography), published by Endeavour Press, UK (www.endeavourpress.com) and available from all online retailers.


                              Director of "Between Us" Manuscript Assessment Service
                              (www.betweenusmanuscripts.com)
                            • Jeffrey Marks
                              Again, you re painting all writers with one brush, which just does not work. Patrick O has introduced us to Paul Halter, who is a master of the locked room
                              Message 14 of 15 , Sep 22, 2013
                                Again, you're painting all writers with one brush, which just does not work. Patrick O has introduced us to Paul Halter, who is a master of the locked room mystery. 

                                Most of the cozy writers today have very strong plotlines and very little gore. Some even have tie-ins to GAD detectives. Mary Jane Maffini has a new series that deals with GAD authors. Dean James is another who writes very strong plotlines. Dean has been on the NYT bestsellers' list which entirely refutes your claim regarding the amount of violence needed to sell. 

                                In the US, one of the leading "serious literature" authors is Michael Chabon (a Pulitzer winner), who has actually dabbled in crime fiction. His books have strong plotlines while showing how characters may change in a situation. Very little violence in any of them.

                                Please investigate and read some of these authors before condemning an entire generation of literature.

                                Jeff

                                --
                                Jeffrey Marks
                                www.jeffreymarks.com
                                Check out my website for news about my books and marketing tips of the month
                                Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s
                                Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of the Screwball Mystery
                                Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography -- 2009 Anthony winner
                              • Ronald Smyth
                                Yes, that s why I called it modern criminal fiction rather than modern detection stories. As always of course the skill of the writer is paramount. Stephen
                                Message 15 of 15 , Sep 22, 2013
                                  Yes, that's why I called it modern criminal fiction rather than modern detection stories. As always of course the skill of the writer is paramount. Stephen Hunter, who writes what I would term thrillers, can write three pages describing a weapon, the slug fired from it and it's flight, ending with the results and keep me enthralled. And I have no interest in guns. Others can bore me in half a paragraph.
                                  Lawrence Block, who has written so much and so varied, both in length and type that he's hard to classify, can make a professional killer (Keller) seem like an ordinary but interesting next door neighbour. There is no gore.
                                  And I'm tired of serial killers.
                                  Yet Mark David, a rather new writer of police procedurals keeps me fascinated in cases involving precisely those, and yes, the violence can be quite graphic, but it isn't the violence that is the focus of his writing. It's the personality and family life of he and his colleagues, together with vivid descriptions of their setting in Hull that I enjoy. 
                                  I read a lot. I would estimate four or five books a week for more than fifty years. But I'm not big on cozies or psychological suspense. I tend to avoid Scandinavian authors because of a tendency towards navel-gazing.  If you don't like modern writers then maybe you haven't tried the right ones. Or maybe they just aren't for you.
                                  Arts in Canada have long tended to be subsidized. Partly because it's hard to compete culturally with the American behemoth on our border and get our own stories in front of Canadians when we are bombarded daily with American television, movies, magazines, radio and news with no linguistic barriers such as exists in most of Europe or Asia etc.  
                                   
                                  Ron Smyth
                                  From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                                  To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2013 1:55:58 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Re: Worldview(s) of GAD [Was: Catching up]
                                   
                                  On 22 September 2013 13:02, Ronald Smyth <ronsmyth2005@...> wrote:
                                  To me the main difference between GA detection and modern criminal fiction is simply the emphasis on the puzzle in GAD and the emphasis on the detective in the latter. That is, plot versus character.

                                  Ron Smyth

                                  There's considerable truth in that. But when the focus becomes almost entirely on the personality of the detective then it's not really detective fiction any more. It's simply yet another psychological novel, and such novels all too often degenerate into self-pity and pointless navel-gazing. One can take only so much tortured introspection and self-loathing.

                                  Plot has been rather unfashionable in "serious literature" for quite some time. The results have not been all that satisfactory. I don't know what the situation is like elsewhere but in Australia it's produced a situation where writers of "serious literature" have to be subsidised by the government because so few people want to read their books.

                                  I think it's also led to a situation where crime fiction has become so dull that it has to contain a very large amount of graphic violence in order to sell. So the readers aren't buying the books for the navel-gazing angst, they're buying them for the graphic and in many cases almost pornographic violence.

                                  Al
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