Thursday, April 19, 2007

Turn me on Dead Man: Sharon Wheeler's blog

Shaz is an academic too, teaching journalism in the tranquil hinterlands, or smallish city near such, of the West Midlands at the University of Gloucestershire. Knows a lot more about the Pogues than I do. Not to mention many more folk-rockists. Reviews books and records for Rock and Reel, a fanzine turned site. Even clarified what "slash" is in fandom. (Gay take on fictional characters, who take on lives and loves of their own probably undreamt of by their authors. J.K. Rowling allows her spawn to play, but not in these realms, many of them under the age of consent I assume along with impressionable googling fans of Hogswarts.)

Anyhow, Sharon shares with other critics of mysteries her blog, (with her picture as seen here) her stint Thursday of each week. Shaz knows mysteries--of course-- and she and her colleagues at "Hey, There's A Dead Guy in the Living Room" have constructed and perpetuate a fine effort with a wide following. Even I can follow the gist of the site. I like the idea of a collective each pitching in with their say weekly, but that may betray only my own interest in monasticism combined with my tendencies towards a clumsily reductive cod-marxism in the lit-crit cultural Raymond Williams sense.

Why is the fact I marvel at understanding an iota of the Dead Guys an achievement? I never read mysteries (but I will follow up some of her suggestions) except for Ken Bruen and only his Galway Noir with dyspeptic Jack Taylor, who should meet real-life Mark E Smith, the last of the true punks and along with Shane MacGowan (who did get kicked out of Westminster, the London public school, by the way) a lyricist and singer of idiosyncratic and learned charm. MES' recent CD with his latest wife and whatever version of The Fall it is now-- I heard the 45th on this the 26th or so album-- has its own appeal, especially in the song "Coach & Horses," inspired says he by Arthur Machen.

Shaz tells me she's preparing among her research a conference paper on Bruen, and I look forward to reading it, as I do "The Priest." Frustrating that she's already finished the next book in the series, "The Cross," as the British publication is always (at least) a year ahead of the American. Why I know not.

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