Amphiist 4: Agatha Christie

· Culture, Literature, Popular culture

Everyone acknowledges good and evil

But which is which?

Amphiist is a Greek word meaning both sides

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Through the lens of non-judgmental analyses of good and evil

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Amphiist 4: Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author in the world. She wrote murder mysteries for the most part, and they are what her fame is based upon. Her masterpiece is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. My own personal favourite is The ABC Murders. Other legendary works of hers include Peril at End House, Lord Edgware Dies, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, And Then There Were None, Crooked House, and Endless Night. Her non-mystery masterpiece was written under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott. It was entitled Absent in the Spring, about a woman who, when stranded temporarily in the desert, begins to fundamentally know herself. It is an expert work with regard to human nature. Agatha Christie was a peerless genius.

What made her so special? She had everything a murder mystery devotee could ever want in an author. She had a very readable style, she tried to trick her readers in a way her predecessors and contemporaries never bothered with, she often had a surprise ending, she often (but not always) played fair with her readers, etc. She also disappeared in 1926 due to some personal problems. The fun of Christie is trying to guess who the murderer is, trying to outsmart the author who can never really be outsmarted.

How does Christie fit into amphiism? It doesn’t, really, except that we all need entertainment. And murder mysteries, even fictional ones, can help us understand good and evil. The great ones, such as the ones written by Christie, deal with human nature and help explain it. Amphiism is also partly about nostalgia for an older period, when entertainment was supplied by legends, masters of their craft, rather than overproduced artists who espouse a political agenda, rather than have a vocation.


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