Blue Cross — страница 2
oddity that caught the eye of the pursuer might be the same that had caught the eye of the pursued”. Logic itself is an apparatus, a machine, and it has to be fed with facts. Holmes and others did their best to catch a vanishing trace of a criminal by carefully thinking of actions the latter would carry out to escape and by putting themselves into the criminals position. Never Valentin did so. The way Valentin picks to gain facts and to track a man does not seem to be logically approved. More, it seems to be incredible, terribly inefficient. It makes reader to think that Valentin probably was very superstitious or very weird kind of detective. As soon as Valentin runs across the criminal’s trace he sticks to it, goes along it at finally gets what he’s looking for as any other normal investigator. But prior to it is the point from which a question to Chesterton, as the “father” of Aristide Valentin, arises. Does Chesterton really believe that it should be reasonable in real life to rely upon the pure probability of running into something related to the crime or the criminal occasionally? The system of Valentin is original, smart and, no doubt, has the right to exist among the best examples of the world detective literature. But when it comes to the reality, it inevitably loses when compared to Poirot’s and Holmes’s approaches. The most evident reason for it is that Aristide Valentin must be a pure imaginary person, a fruit of Chesterton’s fantasy with no real roots, while Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and others all had living prototypes. There’s one more weakness of Valentin that should be mentioned, inherent in his style of work, and noted by himself:” The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic…”. For most of his virtual colleagues, it’s visa versa: they are the artists, and they play the first violin, while most of the criminals have to follow it. Nevertheless, while some aspects of Valentines system that can be considered as drawbacks, from literary point of view the character himself looks alive and natural, which adds to the art value of the story.