Table of contents

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 crimes? Or of poets being betrayed, brought to a bad end by those who ask for their help?

Almost all characters are policemen, which reminds us that laws depend on enforcement, & therefore on soul moving people to action. Both murderers act to save their careers. They care enough about the police to care about promotion, & disobey the laws. Perhaps their incompetence suggests to them the key to success: Injustice can be successfully concealed, & then the unjust can enjoy the rewards of their injustice under guise of justice. Both murdered policemen try to enforce the laws, & against policemen, too.

Apparently, poets can tell this kind of story with impunity – a story about what people may not do with impunity. Let us return to the men & the women. The poet surely is like the woman, but with an improvement: The poet knows the importance of plot in its double meaning. But the speeches & the importance of deception – the tragic poet hides himself behind his tragedy – do not exhaust the poet. He must share the man’s love of justice, as well as the inclination to pursue questions.

But we cannot leave it at saying that justice is doing justice to questions, that is to say, wisdom. Bun’s tragic fate is a warning; to whom? Several characters in the story voice this warning – the women – but there are several others who do not need it, because they do not go looking for trouble. Love of justice creates an immoderation in young men especially, as we are shown. Bun attempts to help the youth to do justice. He fails as an educator. This reminds us, philanthropy is not only doing good for human beings, but also making human beings better.

Maybe the tragic poet sees himself in Bun; maybe Bun is his competitor. The difference is this: The poet does not want to do justice. Bun asks the youth for his badge & his gun: He needs authority & strength. Killing will be necessary.

The different requirements point out that the poet does not speak as freely as Bun does. His thoughts have to be found in his plot. Bun shows his excellent mind & claims to rule by it. Do not people fear criminals? Are not criminals clever? Do not the people need other clever people to protect them from criminals? Then Bun should rule, for the public good.