Table of contents

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 & advises; the fat man, cowardly gluttonous, who says what the woman tells him to say & allows the man to do what the man does; & the man, angry, murderous.

Bun sees with surprise this complexity in what looks like one human being, albeit a criminal. We are reminded, he said he saw no complexity in his old chief. He cut off his ear in front of him, presenting it as a gift. This destroyed his career. – This is all the explanation he offers his curious disciple, who had seen it. Maybe giving a part of himself shows his loss. Bun may admire simplicity.

We are reminded, Bun’s ability to see through appearances is limited. He only sees his disciples’ two souls after he has solved the case. The young man had asked him about this after asking about the ear, but Bun was silent. Bun seems to think of soul primarily as the cause of motion in the body. He tells the youth, regarding investigating, use emotions, not logic. Indeed, Bun reenacts crimes. But why reenact the victims’ part & not just the murderers’?

There are limits to reenacting. Bun tries to imitate the murderer’s gluttony, but only makes himself sick. He is better at making the murderer angry: He sees the fatso, then the woman, then the man, who attacks him. He sees another man choke the man; he sees the woman say that the gun must not be fired. Anger destroys the ability for deception. The disorder in the soul requires self-control to be reordered.

The collapse & return of order show Bun how to solve the murder. This suggests that without action, soul somehow is not soul. Would this policeman be at all interesting had he not become a criminal? – Greed seems to have started it, but circumstances then forced murder on him, which then presented renewed opportunity for gain. Bun sees that the woman does not rule the man; at best, she can persuade by pointing out danger, which arouses fear, & offering a solution. She finds it very difficult to make herself obeyed, having only speeches at her disposal.

Bun also foresees action. He unravels the murderer’s last plan. He also sees a punk girl tell another girl to shoplift. He berates her & makes her run away. Bun’s knowledge of soul thus shows a tendency to generalize. Indeed, if soul were particular, how to know soul?