Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night
Wimsey novels timeline
DOROTHY L. SAYERS
Gaudy Night – Dorothy L Sayers
The mind, the heart, sex, class, feminism, true love, intrigue, not your everyday ho hum detective story: Dorothy Sayers’s Gaudy Night
(Re)placing John Donne in the History of Sexuality
Stella Rimington on Dorothy L Sayers
Paul Kincaid on Murder Must Advertise
The Great Nutrax Row (The Mother of All Office Kerfuffles) by AJ Hall
Shell Shock, Emotional Resilience and the Cultural Memory of the First World War: A Literary Perspective
Detective Fiction Scholarship: why do we ignore the experts?
Reading Wednesday: Agatha Christie
Odd book sections in bookshops: can you beat ‘cosy crime’?
May Day Special: A Hearse on May-Day by Gladys Mitchell
Her Name Was Trouble With a Capital L
Book Review: Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England by Ian Ward
Queens of Crime
Rediscovering the Great Gladys
Here Comes a Chopper review – an amateur sleuth to rival Miss Marple
“Because now, added to the interest of the murder itself, we can delight in the picture of society that the novels afford, in the way that a photograph of a long-gone street scene can fascinate and charm.
We have not just a country mansion dinner party with unexpected guests, and the aforementioned headless corpse, but a portrait of Britain emerging from war, with memories of the blackout and of horrific death still fresh; interestingly, there is nothing much about rationing, but the details of one meal are faithfully and approvingly recorded. As for the identity of the murderer, and the nature of the clues that lead to his or her discovery, I’m afraid I long ago gave up trying to work out whodunnit in this kind of yarn. I just let it all wash over me, soak up the atmosphere, and revel in the character of the detective (which is the main point of these stories, when you come down to it). I am delighted to have made Mrs Bradley’s acquaintance.”
I like this innovative presentation of a short story. One pound for this nice little thing. It’s a good idea, I wonder if it paid? I don’t know the original story that well, so can’t comment on Jones’ adaptive choices. If DWJ is good at illustrating the whole of a personality, she’s also good at a different form of characterization that derives from reactions to situations and events. Macro vs micro? Pacy, round incident and dialogue–a great ‘fleshing out’, and very simple too.
I also like the way this retells a fairy tale without–an obnoxious, sophomoric, ungenerative 90s comics need to scream ‘fuck you dad!!’ and grimdark the thing? Sooo maaaany fairy tale retellings try and ‘punk’ the text without really *getting* the darkness already embedded in the text. Not that this “Puss in Boots” is particularly redolent of tension between the canny and the un–but Jones embodies the story in a way that’s fuller and more satisfying than it might have been if she’d chosen to buck the text without some real reason to do it, some objective such fighting works in the service of. Fighting for fighting’s sake isn’t terribly interesting or generative, and often seems to reify rather than destabilize structures. Like what Ethan Robinson says about the fail condition of subversion being reification.
The Fanghorn illustrations are fine, but don’t particularly do much for me. Weird because they seem very touted on the back cover and the title page, like that’s a thing I should have come for.