Tuesday, July 12, 2011


After many years of delay, I'm finally reading Curtain by Agatha Christie. Being a huge Hercule Poirot fan, I was never comfortable picking up the last of his adventures. I'm finding it a tad different from the others.

What is most intriguing is that Dame Agatha apparently wrote the book in the 40s. She wasn't old or in poor health that I can tell. However, euthanasia is a lot of the plot's context. As you may know, Poirot is in wretched health for this case. While he's not directly addressed as a case for extermination, that whole evil, mythical standard of "quality of life" rears its filthy head on a regular basis.

Of course, Dame Agatha was a devout Catholic. If you don't know the story of her support for the Traditional Mass, take a look here.

The most striking comments thus far:

To begin with, I don't hold life as sacred as all you people do. Unfit lives, useless lives- they should be got out of the way. There's so much mess about. Only people who make a decent contribution to the community ought to be allowed to live. The others ought to be put painlessly away.

There's a whole chapter that centers around this argument. I don't guess I really have a point here. It's just another example that there's nothing new under the sun. The roots of the eugenics movement are deep, and we've been dealing with them for a long time. Interesting, though, to see it being played out against the backdrop of an Hercule Poirot murder mystery from 70 years ago.

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