Link and Note – Korach: The Landow Case

A couple of days ago I received an e-mail response to something I had published. It was not an agreement, but another view, well-expressed, which is more valuable than agreement. The author of that e-mail, Joseph Cox, also blogs at TorahShorts.com. It’s a fascinating site, because he uses stories set in modern times to help interpret scripture. I think this is a wonderful way to do so, and I do it from time to time on this blog as well.

I want to call your attention in particular to the first of his posts that I read: Korach: The Landow Case.

The question is not so much whether it is the right answer, either in the story presented or in the application of the scripture. For me this is about how to apply ancient scripture in modern times. Read it with attention to the process of thinking, and then consider applying some of that as you read scripture … any scripture.

Locked Room Mystery Discussion

Jason Rosenhouse over at EvolutionBlog is writing an (at least) two part series on locked room mysteries and his favorite authors, along with some less favorite ones. I usually read Jason’s blog for evolutionary science, but he also frequently writes quite vigorously on atheism, and he gets some of that in here.

I was not acquainted with John Dickson Carr, which he says exposes a large hole in my literary education. To be honest, I can’t recall any of my literature teachers pointing me in the direction of mysteries, at least relatively modern ones. I found those all on my own.

For the moment I will only add that I think often that the quality of characters in a novel is substantially in the eye of the beholder. A writer rarely writes all the details, yet sometimes we fill them out as full characters and sometimes we do not. For example, I find Dorothy Sayers’ characters more interesting than her plots, which seems to be the opposite of Jason’s view.

Nonetheless, any post that points out good authors I haven’t ever heard of is worth reading.

The Point of Research

I’m not anal-retentive about accuracy in a story, book, or movie, but I can sound like it. There’s a point where excessive accuracy gets in the way of telling a story, but there’s also a point where inaccuracy makes the story less authentic and interesting.

Susan Lyons (whose work I confess I’ve never read) wrote a post on Fresh Fiction that catches the drift:

The point of doing research isn’t to dump it all into the middle of a story, but to give the authentic details and “feel” that make the characters and story come alive and ring true. . . .

Just so! The post is from back in May, but I just saw it yesterday. Go read the whole thing.