Reading

As in, like everybody else in these socially isolated days, I’m doing a lot of it.  Especially a lot of re-reading of old favorites in the mystery genre – probably because with an old favorite, you don’t get any unpleasant surprises.

Also probably because the best mysteries end up with truth revealed and justice done and good order restored – which makes them particularly comforting reads during trying times.

Somebody out there amongst the nattering literati is probably even now gearing up for an op-ed or a literary magazine column or a public blog post about how all this makes mystery novels the ultimate bourgeois reading experience and thus one that should be shunned, or at least regarded as a guilty pleasure, by all good little progressives and radicals.  To which I say, screw them.  They’re the lineal descendants of all those Puritans who thought that fiction in general was morally suspect, and of their Enlightenment grandsons who thought that novels were a female vice and a symptom of social decay.

(What these Pecksniffian pronouncers have to say about sf/fantasy is almost as bad, and what they have to say about romance is even worse.  As far as they’re concerned, art should be like castor oil:  If it doesn’t taste bad, it can’t be good for you.)

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