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January 10, 2022

#Cultural History Motive for Murder?

by N@ncy


6. A Cultural History of Causality Science, Murder Novels, and Systems of Thought by Stephen Kern by Stephen Kern (no photo)

Finish date: 09 January 2022
Genre: cultural history
Rating: C

Stephen Kern is an Distinguished Research Professor so I should not have been surprised how ‘academic, scholarly’ this book was But I was a bit bushwhacked. My rating is still C because the book delivered exactly what was intended but it was a difficult read.

Good news: Kern examines a specific factors or motives for murder.
Insightful to read the differences between
19th C Victor Hugo/Charles Dickens:
overbearing religious training producing killers like Frollo Hunchback of ND and Headstone Our Mutual Friend
20th C Patricia Highsmith/André Gide protecting loss of identity (Tom kills Dickie Greenleaf) in The Talented Mr. Ripley and the desire to commit a ‘motiveless crime’ (Lafcadio pushes man to his death on a train …for nothing. In other words: “I kill, therefore I am!”) in Lafcadio .

Bad news Not really bad….but you should be warned this book is not for the fainthearted!

Personal There is a lot to be learned in this book and if you see it in the library….take a look!
The best advice I can give is to skim the chapters and select the items that refer to a books (literature) that catch your eye. I will certainly look more carefully in CF, detectives and  novels for the
true motive (class difference, greed, fear, revenge, hatred, sexually repressed, traumatic childhood) for murder!

Read more from Mount TBR 2022, non-fiction

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