Laura Gonzalez

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17 May 2014

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie ***

9780007234370

Reading dates: 24 April – 16 May 2014

I read a lot of Agatha Christie in my teens. I considered her a genre of her own. But youth is always premature and reflection-less and my love of her began to wane as I read modern crime fiction. Reading P.D. James’ Talking about Detective Fiction also had a hand in the demise of my admiration, as she showed how the golden age of the genre is a pure exercise in form, not grounded in reality or the social (which is not true for many modern crime writers). The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is ok. It is a famous example of detective fiction because of one thing only, one I cannot reveal because it would spoil it for you. That punchline, a trait for which Christie became famous, is innovative but vapid. A little bit like liquid nitrogen in food. I have never seen The Mousetrap but, having recently watched the awesome Witness for the Prosecution, I wonder if her material works better in a form containing time and movement than on the page. Not that reading doesn’t have movement and time, but it is too disperse. Theatre, TV or film would contain and force decisions.

Monsieur Poirot and his little grey cells also leave me cold. He is patronising and pompous, both of which I forgive in Suchet’s portrayal, perhaps because of the time-based element. The book and Poirot lack visual, depth, gut. The structure is neat and lovely, but I have always preferred Wilhelm de Kooning to Mondrian.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading


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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.