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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mystery characters & vanity.

Josephine Tey has a premise about vanity being part of the criminal mind. Typically Kevin or Alan will speak of this to a disbeliever.

Luckily for me, this gentleman has the very quote I'm thinking of from Alan Grant.

I plan to think about this some more. But I'm wondering how many criminals as characters fit. I have a feeling that Margery Allingham had several who did.

If you must motivate a character somehow, why not with pathological vanity? This would include vigilantes to some extent; any avenger -- Zorro, Batman -- has chosen to go outside the system. Isn't it vanity, and therefore hubris, to assume that Only You can solve the problem?

Last year, I noticed that one of Bujold's characters exactly fulfills this definition... probably more do, but I happened to be reading Brat Farrar right then, and it was quite a contrast!

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