Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Who wants to become a detective novelist?

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P.D. James

Who wants to become a detective novelist and why? To impose order on terrifying chaos? To bring justice out of injustice? To give the illusion that we live in a moral and comprehensible universe? To make money? To provide a structure within which writer and reader can safely confront terror, violence, and death? To show that to some things at least there is an answer? To distance the atavistic fear of cruelty and death? To make a pattern? To explore men and women under the trauma of a police investigation for the ultimate crime? To create a modern mortality play in which truth is at least established even if it doesn’t prevail? To celebrate justice? To get the better of one’s enemies? To gain the illusion of power? To advise and entertain, solace and delight? Because it’s the thing one does best?

P.D. James, Time to Be in Earnest

Written by nevalalee

April 17, 2016 at 7:30 am

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