----- Original Message -----From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">David BoydSent: Sunday, December 17, 2006 1:43 AMSubject: Re: Solving the crime in 4Q!In a message dated 17/12/2006 09:09:32 GMT Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:The title quote's being used in E.'s portrait oof a lady addsto the detective character of the TV episode: "You have the scene arrange itselfwhich it will seem to do." That is how Morse (and Jane Tennison) thinks.Cheers,Peter----- Original Message -----From: David BoydSent: Friday, December 15, 2006 1:32 AMSubject: Re: Solving the crime in 4Q!In a message dated 15/12/2006 04:24:09 GMT Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:When a detective is confronted with a crime scene, he or she is starting at theend of the event, and must read the picture as a kind of cubist collection ofdetails which can lead him in different directions. The idea is to shufflethe details again and again on the basis of different hypotheses until the rightcombination (as in a slot machine) comes up. Lit crits who try to explainmeaning, &c, go through a somewhat similar process to do the post mortemon the corpus.Eliot is legendary for his interest in Sherlock Holmes, and how he andhis friends used to challenge each other with allusions to different Holmes stories.There is, of course, the almost literal lifting of lines from the MusgraveRitual in MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL. E. was also friends withDorothy Sayers, &c, &c. He loved mysteries.So engage with the popular Dectective Chief Inspector Morse in an episodecalled THE WENCH IS DEAD (now where in E's corpus does that reference reside?)as he solves a supposedly already solved mystery of a 19th century crime in whichtwo men were unjustly hanged for killing a woman (probably a prostitute -- though noone knew it except the murderer). Morse starts at the end and works backwards,and shuffles the details in various ways. And lest one think this episode has nothingto do with Eliot, Morse says, in the penultimate two lines: "To make an end is to makea beginniing. The end is where we start from." The allusion is a double entendre,for Morse has a personal stake in the thought himself. The episode has a doubleplot. I've left the important one out here, so as not to spoil the story.Enjoy,PeterPeterI'm a big fan both of Dorothy L Sayers [especially The Nine Tailors] and Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse [so sad that John Thaw who played the role so very fittingly well is no longer here] so this struck a lot of pleasantly sonorous chords, including that quotation, which I'm sure [as no doubt others will point out too] is originally from Christopher Marlowe's *Jew of Malta*. It's Barabas, describing extenuating circumstances surrounding a charge of fornication:
"But that was in another country and besides, the wench is dead."Best wishesDavidNevertheless, think its use by TSE as the epigraph to 'Portrait of a Lady' was acknowledged to Marlowe as the original source, and that this quote lives and shines through the literary firmament as pure Marlowe. [IMHO, it's bad enough that Will the Shakespeare eclipses him as much as usually happens, without poor old Chris not getting his just creative desserts where both appropriate and totally justified !!]RegardsDavid
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