For my job, they have obliged me to participate in a master course. About finance, business administration, innovative marketing strategies, corporate economics, and how to use your inner child to be more creative in commercial enterprises. Seriously, I even had to participate in some kind of creativity workshop, full of coloured paper, lumps of clay, brainstorming and whatnot. People still have not realised that people work at their best on their own, without other people around to bother them. As everyone who knows me would imagine: this master is just the most perfect thing for me. It is exactly why I studied physics: so I could calculate the financial balance and solvency of companies. Really.
When I talked about this master, a few days later, in my favourite bar in Barcelona, my friends told me I should enjoy this opportunity. That working is something one should enjoy and life is all about making work as pleasurable as possible. And they are absolutely right, of course, when you look at it their way because, in fact, you spend most hours of your life at work. But no! I won´t agree! I won´t give up! I´ll stick to my principles. I am rather unhappy than a traitor. And to show I am not alone in this, there are Voskuil, Nescio and The Godfathers.
This week I will talk about mysteries, about parallel worlds and shadow worlds, about an existence beyond our every day life, about something better, more glorious and wonderful. In short, I will say something about Quantum Mechanics, John Dickson Carr and Yunnan Tea.
Lists are always inviting and almost always dissappointing. “The 100 best jokes of 2010”: 95 of them are not funny, involving mothers in law, the three B´s (Blondes, Breasts, Beer) or software. The remaining 5 you have heard before. Or, for instance, pointless lists of the 100 best rock albums of the 20th century when we all know there are only 5 (exercise for the reader).
The main fail in these lists is that they are too focused on just a single aspect (jokes, rock albums, fruitcakes) of this beautiful thing called life. It would be more interesting to have a list of only three things you love which have nothing to do with each other.
There are two types of police novels that can awaken my interest. One of them is the obscure category of “who-dun-its”. The other is the social-psychological detective novel.
The Swedish detective novels I know of, all are of the socio-psychological variety. In these, it´s not just a matter of finding out who killed who, and how. It´s also meant to dissect society and its effect on people on both sides of the law. More often than not, the murderer is shown to be a victim (“Hey, I’m depraved on account I’m deprived!“) of society whereas the juridical system is shown to be corrupt, bureaucratic and biased.
Since for most people Sweden is the symbol of a perfect social-democratic society, books like these have an inherent irony, much more so than similar novels from – for instance – the United States, which thanks to television and Hollywood we all perceive as a country full of ghetto´s, evil politicians and gun-toting psychopaths.