A daring act of narrative modification and reinterpretation. By altering an event early in Christie's novel — there is no murder — the remaining text must re-adjust to accommodate the absence of the crime. On the Orient Express parodies and subverts the expectations of casual slaughter in the literary genre of detective fiction, and the result is a transformation of the original novel into something entirely different: an expression of redemption rather than of revenge. Faulkner said, "The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself," and it is with this in mind that On the Orient Express takes aim at the heart of Christie's work. The heart in this case is what happens on the Orient Express, and it is by holding up a near-perfect mirror to the original text—nudging it as little as possible—that certain conflicts otherwise neglected in Christie's work are exposed: notably, our urge to wound vs. our desire to heal. On the Orient Express is a parody, but it's also an academic exploration of the work. It raises questions about creative appropriation, the value of narrative reinterpretation, and the means of critical analysis. It is also an artistic expression, casting a wary eye on the assumption of violence and criminality in popular fiction. It is not intended to diminish the entertainment or market value of the original work, but rather to expand the ways we can think about it, academic criticism, and art in general.
Related collections and offers
|Edition description:||2nd ed.|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)|
About the Author
Mark Malamud is a tail-end baby-boomer and master dogsbody. His collection of short stories, The Gymnasium, established the idea of literary taxidermy. His novel, Float the Pooch—which pits David Bowie against Stanley Kubrick against a background of alien invasion, future sex, and Yom Kippur—is widely unread.