Descending to the more mundane, I want to see if the Marxist Ernst Bloch can explain the mystery of mystery to me
We experience some things since we were kids and we never think to try to understand them on a more rational level.
Sometimes you get to understand a form so well that it loses its magic. That’s fine in my opinion because then people are motivated to go beyond the obsolete form. Do I expect to do that with the mystery genre? No way, I only expect to better appreciate it. I’m sure there are pros out there who aren’t able to be enthralled by the genre because they understand it as a science. I’m sort of that way with neech these days- I see what he’s doing rather than experience what he’s saying.
Someone must have done this already? Created a mise en abyme of the mystery genre, i.e. tried to solve the mystery of mystery within the form of a detective story? The movie The Cabin in the Woods does this with the horror genre. There’s a unique “aesthetic splendor” to the mystery genre is there not?
I think I can see why this is the first line of Bloch’s essay
Something is uncanny – that is how it begins.
Uncanniness, sublimity, very similar.
He says all the genre is is the hunt for evidence in narrative form – he takes a genealogical approach
Prior to the middle of the eighteenth century there were absolutely no evidentiary trials, at least none that were deliberate. Only several eyewitnesses and above all the confession, which was called the regina probationis, could sustain a conviction – nothing else.
The genre reflects the reality of changes in politics. Similar to sci fi, it would be impossible for some countries to have developed it. The genre is implicitly about the meaning of justice.
The mystery of our belief-system, that’s my favorite way of playing detective. And if you’re one of types who sees me as a criminal then you’re probably playing a different sort of detective yourself.
You ever experience this?
precarious situations and the surprising twist
I don’t think people like my twists, it makes them feel evil. “Surprise! You agree with Satan.”
the suspense associated with guessing, pointing itself, in detective-like manner, to the second characteristic, that of unmasking and discovering
If you feel personally accused about something I must have guessed right.
Bloch himself says there’s something similar between detective fiction on the one hand and genuine literature and science on the other, naming psychology and high drama.
The way he puts this makes me sense the suspense involved in political philosophy
the suspicion of an accursed secret
No one feels guilty when I say “extended crime family”, I know I know.
The one that kills people’s souls. That’s the real murder mystery.
Why do people seem more similar to the third world than a year ago? Some of us can “detect” that. An abundance of clues lead one to that conclusion, one might say that is has been proved.
The criminals won’t be brought to justice though will they?
And even if the world into which the reader has chanced does not, following Schopenhauer’s denunciation, look like a cabinet of monstrosities, an inn of scoundrels, or an insane asylum depending on one’s viewpoint, it nevertheless looks like a precarious as well as difficult detection phenomenon, whose catchword has not yet been found.