The Brain Game

I came across an interesting article in Psychology Today. Titled "The Genius of Detective Fiction," author Christopher Badcock makes the case that there's "no doubt that detective fiction—both in its vast quantity and intrinsic quality—is the distinctive literary genre of modern, industrial societies." He also looks at the almost Asperger-like personality of Sherlock Holmes (photographic memory, concentration, few social skills) as an example of mechanistic cognition, whereas Miss Marple's intuition and use of people skills is a form of mentalistic thinking. Badcock argues it's the way detective fiction combines extremes of the two types of mental processes that makes it so popular and helps create "insights of fictional genius." One bit of trivia from the article: Sigmund Freud was an avid reader of thrillers.

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