Christie in Greeneland: From “Funerals Are Fatal”

"Because there's the most wonderful chance of a play. Michael's got an option on it. It's a most wonderful part for him and even a small part for me, too. It's about one of these young criminals, you know, that are really saints--it's absolutely full of the latest modern ideas.""So it would seem," said Mr Entwhistle stiffly."He robs, you know, and he kills, and he's hounded by the police and by society--and then in the end, he does a miracle."Mr Entwhistle sat in outraged silence. … [Read more...]

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“The Uncozy Christie”: Me on the Queen of Crime

at the University Bookman: Agatha Christie’s name is practically synonymous with comfort reading. Her publishers used to promise readers “a Christie for Christmas,” and her works are the inspiration for the mystery subgenre known as “cozies.” Quaint little English villages, low-rent lords and shady ladies, just a spot of murder before tea at the vicarage—this is Dame Agatha’s public image.But on the occasion of her 125th birthday, we might do well to remember that both of Christie’s most mem … [Read more...]

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“A Russian Guide to Scary Movies”: Russia Beyond the Headlines

Russia’s first horror films appeared before the Revolution in 1917 and, unfortunately, did not survive to present day. These first films had largely to do with the flowering of symbolism and other decadent tendencies in Russian literature that actively promoted interest in mysticism.Later, horror movies were not produced in the Soviet Union, where the only permissible artistic method was socialist realism. The screen version of Nikolai Gogol’s “Viy” remains the only example of a horror movie … [Read more...]

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DOGS HAVE NO UNCLES

and other glorious fake book titles from Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time! My own favorites in this genre are Florence King's gay Southern masterwork, Time Is a Lost Flute, and of course Agatha Christie's avant-garde play, They Walked Without Feet. … [Read more...]

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