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.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Second Case has been solved: ‘A Case of Unreliable Memory’

I am slumped in my armchair, fatigued, bored and irritable. The fallboard of the piano beside me lies open and yet I know that if I were to attempt to depress the keys I would only depress myself further. Neither drink nor sleep nor even company would offer me respite from this infernal lethargy.

Work, literary work, the work of literary critical detection is all that can rouse me now. Only, I am in want of a case.

In fact, this is what I now want to announce: my toil on ‘A Case of Unreliable Memory’ is finished – my ideas have been formulated, the solution invented, the report written, and my notes put back in their proper place. It is over, and I am not unhappy with the results.

I am not insensible to the fact that some of my friends have shown an interest in my work. They are too kind. I would like to make my new report available to them. So, if you are reading this and would like to receive a copy of the draft, please send me a letter to my special postal address: I will send you the transcript by return mail.

I hope that this newly completed script will prove more popular than the last.

If you are interested in my work then please ‘follow’ this online journal. Also, join the Facebook group ‘The Literary Critical Detective’. This last is a space for maverick readers and is the place where I will announce my news first.

I am the world’s only literary critical detective. I am intending to become the world’s first and only consulting literary critical detective soon. Please keep an eye on this journal for more information.

Your faithful author
Dr James Holden
(Literary Critical Detective)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

My book-addled brain.

A sample paragraph from 'A Case of Unreliable Memory':

To my weary, book-addled brain the name slippages did not stop there. As I put down my whiskey glass, put on my reading glasses and looked at the book again the names started to slide in front of my eyes. I felt myself to be like that hapless narrator, Mr Lockwood, as he watches the engraved names merge and separate in front of his eyes in Wuthering Heights (1847). As I watched, and read, and dreamed, Christie’s character Molly Preston-Grey got married and became Molly Ravenscroft only to then slide over into that most affirmative of women, James Joyce’s Molly Bloom. Yes, there is nothing to connect them; and yes this was madness, I knew, but I couldn’t stop it, me, sitting there that night, and there was the noise of the wind again, and the neighbour’s dog still howling won’t it ever shut up, like that dog down on the moors terrible and painted. I rubbed my eyes, trying to snap myself out of this overwhelming literary sickness, only I found that I couldn’t. For wasn’t Molly Bloom herself only Homer’s Penelope, that weaver of tapestries and texts? Yes, again yes. The fact that Mrs Oliver’s ‘christian’ name is Ariadne only seemed to support my adoption of this ‘mythical method’. But, I knew, it didn’t lead to anything, this unravelling of threads, this making up of connections, yarns and literary memories – it only lead me back into a literary critical labyrinth.