Jump to content

Miss Marple and the Problem of Modern Identity


Recommended Posts

Miss Marple and the Problem of Modern Identity

Alan Jacobs

One of Agatha Christie’s more famous mysteries is A Murder Is Announced. A Miss Marple story published in 1950, the novel partakes fully in the anxious and pinched mood of postwar “austerity Britain.” Christie typically writes efficiently and briskly, with much give-and-take dialogue presented in short paragraphs, so the passage I’m about to cite is an unusual one: it’s essentially a monologue by Jane Marple, who is talking to a policeman who has expressed concern for her well-being — a murderer is on the loose — and would prefer her not to “snoop around.”


“But I’m afraid,” she said, “that we old women always do snoop. It would be very odd and much more noticeable if I didn’t. Questions about mutual friends in different parts of the world and whether they remember so and so, and do they remember who it was that Lady Somebody’s daughter married? All that helps, doesn’t it?”


“Helps?” said the Inspector, rather stupidly.


“Helps to find out if people are who they say they are,” said Miss Marple.

Scissors-32x32.png http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/miss-marple-and-the-problem-of-modern-identity

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1701929265
  • Create New...