Whose Body?

“Yes, yes, I know,” said the detective, “but that’s because you’re thinking about your attitude. You want to be consistent, you want to look pretty, you want to swagger debonairly through a comedy of puppets or else to stalk magnificently through a ragedy of human sorrows and things. But that’s childish. If you’ve any duty to society in the way of finding out the truth about murders, you must do it an an attitude that comes handy. YOu want to be elegant and detached? That’s all right, if you find the truth out that way, but it hasn’t any value in itself, you know. You want to look dignified and consistent– what’s that got to do with it? You want to hunt down a murderer for the sport of the thing and then shake hands with him and say ‘Well played– hard luck– you shall have your revenge tomorrow!’ Well, you can’t do it like that. Life’s not a football match. You want to be a sportsman. You can’t be a sportsman. You’re not a responsible person.” (86).

Detective lessons, “for the sport of the thing”, Peter’s doubt and guilt of accusing

Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. New York: Dover, 2009

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