Table of contents

Blind detective

On love as acquisition

Our story starts in a rather comedic manner & then turns uglier & uglier. Three characters are shown to be laughable. First, there is the blind detective, whose quest to acquire a fortune is perpetually frustrated. Johnston is not only blind, but a dandy & a glutton. Secondly, there is […]

House of Flying Daggers

On love as an alternative to law

Our story takes place at the end of a dynasty. The empire’s power to terrorize is not what it once was. As happens in such cases, secret societies emerge. On the other side of the law, it’s no clearer whether the private or the public good rules. […]

Hero 2

On the philanthropy of empire

The emperor, knowing his enemy has come to know him, can now interpret his calligraphy & thus explain to this assassin what the man himself could not explain, presumably because the experience of the attack on the emperor is necessary – though it was not sufficient for the woman. […]

Hero 1

On heroism & sacrifice

A man who says he is nameless enters the court of the Qin Emperor in order to gain the rewards of his extraordinary exploits: He has defeated & killed the three most dangerous warriors in the seven kingdoms. People like them, we are given to understand, prevent the unification of […]

Mad detective 4

The poetic teaching regarding justice

The way Bun reenacts crimes, the way people respond to him – they become an audience, waiting to see what he does, & perhaps fearful that what he is doing is real, & his mention of divine signs remind us of poets. But who has heard of poets solving […]

Mad detective 3

On men & women

Soul appears as men & women to Bun. It would seem reason is feminine, at least insofar as reasoning is reasoning to the good. Bun’s wife is always concerned with what is good for him; she fears above all that he will get himself killed. Both murderers succeed only so […]

Mad detective 2

On the parts of the soul

It is not an accident that Bun’s last case involves a man with seven souls. We are reminded of the seven deadly sins. But why should soul as such be sinful, except that it is concealed? – The seven souls really are three: The woman who talks & […]

Mad detective 1

On justice & enlightenment

The predicament we face trying to understand this story is putting together Bun’s unusual powers & Bun’s terrible fate. Bun himself raises this question, whether he will not get killed because of his ability to solve crime. Now, about Bun’s ability we know that he sees things others cannot see […]


On how to make crime pay

This is the original anti-hero story. Porter is returning to NYC. He was betrayed by his wife, whom he seems to have trusted, although he is a criminal; she maybe was jealous. Another mechanic also betrays him, but mechanics do not trust each other… They left him for […]