Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Mystery Goes Postmodern

Over at The Rap Sheet, I take on the idea of the post-modern mystery. While music historian and author Ted Gioia has developed a whole site around the postmodern mystery, I’m wondering if there actually even is such a thing and, if there is, if this is it:
To my mind, here Gioia is describing the recipe for really good books. (Not just good books, which are actually getting to be pretty common. But really heart-stoppingly awesome books, of the kind that keep us from sleep and bring laughter and tears. Sometimes both at the same time and, always, while on the edge of your seat. Good books, is what I’m saying. Really super duper good books that push at the boundaries of what we have come to think of the conventions of mystery while surprising and delighting us along the way.

But what the hell do I know? If either of us has the creds for looking at stuff and knowing that it’s cool (or hip or on point) it’s Gioia. While this cat clearly digs mystery, the author is a noted music historian and his area of expertise is jazz. Gioia is the author of The Birth (and Death) of the Cool and The History of Jazz, among other related titles. So, obviously, when it comes to recognizing cool, if I’m competing with this guy, I’m going to get thoroughly trumped.

At the same time -- and despite this -- I find myself reluctant to just give myself up to the idea of yet another aspect of genre. A ghetto within the ghetto if you will.
The full piece is here.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Found this to be a most interesting piece and like you, I am reluctant to construct new boxes for writing.