Sunday, July 01, 2012

Danish noir(ish) plus my 2,000th post

He was no crime writer, but if Kierkegaard were still around, his publicists and agent might urge him to jump on the Scandinavian crime-fiction bandwagon. And why not? Can you think of a proto-existentialist better suited to noir with a touch of bleak humor than the man who wrote the following:
"Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth."
The Journals of Søren Kierkegaard: A Selection, no. 37, entry for Jan. 1836

"At one time my only wish was to be a police official. It seemed to me to be an occupation for my sleepless intriguing mind. I had the idea that there, among criminals, were people to fight: clever, vigorous, crafty fellows. Later I realized that it was good that I did not become one, for most police cases involve misery and wretchedness—not crimes and scandals."

Journals and Papers, vol. 5, entry no. 6016 (1840-42)

"I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations—one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it—you will regret both."
 — Either/Or, vol. 2, “Balance between Esthetic and Ethical”

"I do not care for anything. I do not care to ride, for the exercise is too violent. I do not care to walk, walking is too strenuous. I do not care to lie down, for I should either have to remain lying, and I do not care to do that, or I should have to get up again, and I do not care to do that either. Summa summarum: I do not care at all."
Either/Or, vol. 1, “Diapsalmata”
What crime writers do those selections remind you of?

And here's a Kierkegaardian treat for my Irish crime-writing friends:
"If I did not know that I am a genuine Dane, I could almost be tempted to explain my self-contradictions by supposing that I am an Irishman. For the Irish do not have the heart to immerse their children totally when they have them baptized; they want to keep a little paganism in reserve; generally the child is totally immersed under water but with the right arm free, so that he will be able to wield a sword with it, embrace the girls."
Journals and Papers, vol. 5, entry no. 5556, 1840–42.
***
This is Detectives Beyond Borders' 2,000th post. And Happy Canada Day, everybody!

© Peter Rozovsky MMXII

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25 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

Thanks for the Happy Canada Day wishes, Peter!

I wonder what kind of mystery Kierkegaard would have written?

Congratulations on your 2,000th post, too.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

I like the "embrace the girls" thought.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thsnks, Susan. It's only right I should recognize my own country's national holiday.

Hmm, what kind of mysteries would Kierkegaard have written? Look at the second passage, especially. That suggests he'd have written a protagonist who would not just investigate crimes but also think about the perpetrators, the victims, and everyone affected by the crimes. And that sounds a bit like Camilleri or Simenon or Giorgio Scerbanenco, whom I have just read.

The first passage sounds a bit more like some of today's Scabdinavian writers, probably because of the ice metaphor.

Ha! I was going to suggest that other passages remind me bit of, maybe, Flann O'Brien or maybe Dominique Manotti, but I realize that's probably only because I like Kiergekaard's style and because I also like O'Brien and Manotti.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linkmeister, S.K., for all the dourness one might normally expect of a Dane, a clergyman, and a philosopher who believed that his melancholy made him unsuitable for marriage, had a worldly eye and a lively prose style.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

Hearty congrats on your milestone, Peter - you're a very good friend to books worldwide.

Cheers, Dec

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thank you kindly. You all keep writing 'em, I'll keep reading 'em.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Dana King said...

Congratulations, Peter. I don't often comment, main,y because I often wouldn't know what i'd be talking about, but I look forward to reading DBB every day.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Many thanks.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

2000 posts! Congratulations!

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A thousand thanks.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

In honor of Canada Day, which still has a few hours to go here, I just posted a link to the Canada Book Challenge 6, which sounds really fun. You can find the challenge HERE.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. Here’s an author for you if you decide to take that challenge. I ordered his new novel last night, I think after midnight, which would make it a Canada Day order.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

Yep, sounds right up my alley. Although I'm going to read the rest of John McFetridge's series first.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ah, you'll have the Canada Day challenge out of the way by Labor Day.

July 01, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Here’s some vintage Canadian hard-boiled for the challenge. And, depending how loosely one wants to interpret Canadian, Fred Vargas’ Wash This Blood< Clean From My Hand of even Garbhan Downey’s War of the Blue Roses might make the list. And don’t forget Canada’s own Giles Blunt and Sandra Ruttan.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

Making the challenge by Labor Day would require more concentration than I actually have.

I've read the Fred Vargas, which I would recommend, but the others are welcome additions to my highly theoretical list.

July 02, 2012  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Congratulations on the 2000 Blog-O-Versary. What an accomplishment!

I like the quote by Kierkegaard on the Irish. My Irish pagan ancestors would have appreciated it.

And on Canada, I just read the latest legal mystery by the excellent writer/attorney William Deverell, worth the read.

There's also Linwood Barclay, a terrific thriller writer.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, the Fred Vargas should be of interest to students of Canada because of her entertaining portrayals of friction between the Quebecois and the French.

I wonder how the David Montrose would appeal to a non-Canadian. Ruttan and Blunt are just plain worth reading.

I just found this post, in which I recommend some Canadian crime fiction to a non-Canadian. Giles Blunt’s Delicate Storm is especially interesting because it includes a compelling imaginative reconstruction of a traumatic moment in Canadian history from when I was a child.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Here’s the link I meant to send, though you might find that other one interesting at well. I think it takes you to all my posts about Giles Blunt.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, thanks for good wishes and the recommendation, though Seana should be the one thanking you for the recommendation.


Jose Latour is a Cuban author now living in Canada. I recommend his Havana World Series.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hilary Davidson and Howard Shrier are two more Canadian crime writers.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

Many congratulations on your 2000th. post, Peter. You are among my top five crime fiction bloggers, but in one respect yours stands alone: When I set up my Google homepage, some years ago now, DBB was the only crime fiction blog among the 'gadgets', and so sits there still among my 'Arts' sources, between the NY Review of Books and the London ditto. No other crime fiction blog has ever been listed in those gadgets, I do believe, and I'm not sure yours is now.

I have no idea how that 'system', if there be one, works, though the great increase in the number, pointlessness and overall stupidity of homepage gadgets has not escaped me, other worthy ones have disappeared, and it's been a long time since I found anything worth adding. I set up that page just in time.

Thanks again for so much pleasure over the years.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Gadgets, in the current sense. are a closed book to me, but I'm apparently in there with some good ones.

Thanks for the kind words and for comments I always look forward to reading and answering

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Simona said...

Congratulations, Peter! Wow, 2,000 posts. Looking forward to reading the next 2,000.

July 02, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. I'll get the second 2,000 started in the next few hours.

July 02, 2012  

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