I've just read the following on page 103, and I leapt like Archimedes from the bathtub, though I wrapped a towel around my waist and dried myself before shouting, "Eureka!":
"I, too, received an honorary degree. For my detective stories, I guess. Most professors suffer from the secret vice of reading such stuff. even if in their courses they lecture on Elizabethan poetry and Shakespeare. But the bard, too, in a sense, wrote crime stories. Dickens, then? Well, Boz was the author of several thrillers. Mark Twain? What about Pudd'nhead Wilson, not to mention Tom Sawyer, Detective? Faulkner? Who concocted Knight's Gambit and Intruder in the Dust? For a while it seemed to me that everybody in English and American literature wrote crime fiction, except perhaps Victorian female novelists."Longtime Detectives Beyond Bordersniks may remember my posts about Shakespeare and other proto-detectives. My own list goes back beyond Nordic sagas all the way to Gilgamesh. But then, perhaps Škvorecký's does, too. I still have about fifty pages left in the book.
(Click here and here for more about Škvorecký. I recommend his stories about Lieutenant Boruvka, and I expect to have more to say about his deeply human and humane views on the lingering effects of life under a totalitarian regime. And now, back to the bath.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2009