Dear Associates,

I am the literary critical detective.

In my work I examine the mise en scene of classic detective stories carefully, paying attention to the smallest metaphorical detail, sifting through the facts and then distorting them according to my whim.
My friends have been kind enough to express some interest in my observations and so to this end I am making this journal available. I hope that you might also find it of some interest.

The Literary Critical Detective.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Things are afoot

This written in haste:

I have nearly brought my second critical case to completion. In fact, I have already started to write up my findings. However, I dare not say more now for fear of interrupting the flow of my thoughts.

I shall write again when I can. Until then I remain,

Your faithful author.

 ps. Should you need to contact me, I can be reached through the regular channels.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The steam train of my thought

I am making bold to write up another of my 'cases'. Unfortunately, it is taking me longer than I originally intended; the document lies languishing upon my desk. Francoise, my housekeeper, has, of course, been no help whatsoever. I leave strict instructions not to be disturbed and yet find myself constantly beset by questions of the most trivial nature, queries to which I simply do not know the answers. 'I am sorry to disturb you (this after the heavy tread of her shoes on the stairs, three loud knocks on my door and a slight clearing of the throat), but when will the Doctor require dinner? And will the Doctor be going out because the floors need to be swept (a downward glance here that implies some kind of criticism) and I have precious little time to finish all my other jobs?' And with each interruption, the steam train of my thought is broken, derailed; my sense of critical unreason is forced to become reasonable in the face of daily concerns.

It is the question of memory that now possesses me, the question of the work of memory and the question of the writing of memory. Texts that are about memories themselves have memories; they dream of other things.

When this literary critical investigation is complete, when the work is over, I will gladly send it to those who contact me at my postal address (which I have again temporarily forgotten).

Perhaps I should get a special hat

The rain continues to drum its military tattoo on my study window. Neverthless, I feel pleasantly - and for me quite unusually - positive. Looking down at all these scattered pieces of paper on my desk, the faded and tea-stained covers of old paperbacks, I could almost smile. For, the account that I sent out, the brief description of a critical moment in my own life, has been well received. I never looked for or expected such praise. Indeed, my embarrassment initially stopped me from signing the work. But now I feel emboldened, ready to dare to misinterpret the universe.

I shall turn this study into my office, get frosted glass fitted and put a sign up on the door: 'Dr Holden, The Literary Critical Detective'. Perhaps I should get a special hat.

But that would be absurd. I do not want fame, and can only hope in vain that others will want to consult me upon literary matters. I am no man of action. Although I declared to Francoise a moment ago, when she brought me my drink, that I should make a brilliant new career for myself I realise now that I was wrong. I will be better sitting here quietly, surrounded by the great works of fiction, misreading motivations and making my scribbled notes.

I will, of course, continue to write up my findings, present my cases to those associates who claim to understand my work and who have expressed their desire to follow it. They can contact me through my special postal address, which I've got written down here somewhere but can never remember (there it is - over there, on the side); or they can write their comments on this journal, which I will leave open for them.