We are lectured on the symbolism of Milton’s Paradise Lost, the prophecy of Humpty Dumpty, the significance of taking a shit, the importance of words, and above all rhyming. It doesn’t matter that when you pick up a detective story you’re expecting detection – this is a perfect opportunity to comment on anything but the detective story, and thus get you to question your fundamental expectations when approaching a detective story!!! Isn’t that just genius???
What interested him about the [detective] stories he wrote was not their relation to the world but their relation to other stories. Even before he became William Wilson, Quinn had been a devoted reader of mystery novels. He knew that most of them were poorly written, that most could not stand up to even the vaguest sort of examination, but still, it was the form that appealed to him (…)