#2: What’s in a name?

So, not to get all insecure and introspective in my first real post, but I wanted to outline choosing “The Invisible Event” as the title for my crime fiction blog.  Broadly speaking there are three reasons, and they get more fanciful as they go.

The first comes from my love of impossible crimes and how in impossible crime fiction, by dint of the name, there is something that must have happened but at first glance simply can’t have – a murderer has vanished from a watched room, say.  In order for that to have occured, clearly they must have been invisible and so the “invisible event” is whatever puzzle is presented in a locked room mystery.

The second is a variation on that, the idea of a clue in a crime novel that is so well hidden you miss it completely at first reading, but when brought to your attention at the end it’s the one thing that was to all intents and purposes invisible and would have unlocked everything for you, the reader.

The third, and the phrase itself, comes from from Hamlet, (Act 4 scene 4) who is talking about Fortinbras when he says:

Witness this army of such mass and charge
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff’d
Makes mouths at the invisible event

He’s referring to a dismissive or mocking attitude towards the unknown nature of something that has yet to happen.  Although it seems to be coming back into vogue, there is still a tendency for people to be very dismissive when it comes to classic crime – it’s “cosy murder”, it wouldn’t happen like that in real life, the characters are thin, the plots are unrealistic – withouth having tried it and so totally miss the point.  I’m not claiming that I’ll convert anyone dead set against it, but I love these books and I love this genre and I’m here to explore the thing I love.

Also, in this pithy age, anything sounds good when put after “The Invisible ____________”.  Seriously, try it: The Invisible House, The Invisible Paperweight, The Invisible Sense of Smell.  I’d at least glance at anything with a title like that…

2 thoughts on “#2: What’s in a name?

  1. Pingback: #217: Depth, Discovery, and the Detective Novel, via Death on the Nile (1937) by Agatha Christie | The Invisible Event

  2. Pingback: #230: Detective Fiction is a Joke… | The Invisible Event

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