16 February 2009

Language and psyche

From a typo starting point, JSBlog takes an intriguing litcrit flight through the idea of fictional detective as shaman which has kept me browsing and reading when I really should have been doing a hundred other things.

I thoroughly recommend taking the same trip.

At a tangent, I was reminded of Ralph Harper's The world of the thriller – Harper is a theologian, and sees the protagonist of novels by the likes of Eric Ambler as a Bunyanesque traveller in a morally compromised world. I can't agree with most of his analysis (though do buy his assertion that "romance and fiction do not need facts in order to tell the truth") but it's stimulating and fascinating. Harper is long out of print, so another interesting (though very different) view of the thriller, just a click away, is John Fraser's Thrillers.

Visit JSBlog's post and onward links first, though – it's well worth your time, on many thoughtful and imaginative levels.

  • Ralph Harper, The world of the thriller. 1974, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 0801817102 (originally 1969, Cleveland: Press of Case Western Reserve University. 0829501487)