05 January 2009

I was born at the bottom of a wishing well.

I've been reading a book called Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder. The authors claim that surrealist art and artists inspired, and were in turn inspired by, the murder of Elizabeth Short and the murderer's presentation of her body. The book also gives support to Steve Hodel's claims that his father, George Hodel, was the killer. It's a neat exercise in interpretation and criticism but I thought it was all a pretty long bow to draw. To sum up: what a load of old cobblers. Enjoyable cobblers, nevertheless.

It reminded me of the interest The Antiquer and I took in Patricia Cornwall's book where she attempted to prove that the artist Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper. The Antiquer had casually mentioned to me at one stage that Initials in the Tree was strenuously opposed to this book and all things Cornwallian. We were over at Initials' house and I vaguely remembered this when I saw a book on Walter Sickert resting on his coffee table.

"Are you the one who doesn't like Patricia Cornwall?" I asked.

He looked at me in astonishment, as though it was an affront simply to be asked the question, and let loose with a string of strangely charming, Scottish-accented invective against the author that left me in no doubt as to his point of view. If I hadn't laughed, I would have been alarmed.

All the same, I meekly agreed with all opinions proferred for the rest of the evening. It seemed like the polite thing to do.

No comments: