Thursday, November 06, 2008

why we read what we read

“At thirty-three, and newly married, I spent four months in the infectious ward of a hospital — no visitors,” he said. “People could send you books, and my friends did send me books, but because it was an infectious ward the books were non-returnable. The literary works my friends were able to part with without breaking their hearts were old detective novels.” He took to them, not surprising given the alternatives: “True, the hospital had a library, but it was full of Lenin and awful socialist-realist fiction.”

Toronto writer Josef Škvorecký's discovery of the detective genre, as described in The Walrus.

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