JOSEF HOFFMANN – Philosophies of Crime Fiction. No Exit Press, UK, softcover, July 2013; US, softcover, October 2013.

JOSEF HOFFMANN Philosophies of Crime Fiction

   This is not a review, only a brief post to draw your attention to this upcoming book, authored by an occasional contributor to this blog, Josef Hoffmann. I’ve browsed through it well enough, however, to recommend it to you, whether Professor Hoffmann were a friend of mine or not.

   From the front cover, quoting noted philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: “More wisdom is contained in the best crime fiction than in conventional philosophical essays.”

   From its page on the Amazon website, much of which is also found on the back cover of the book: “Josef Hoffmann covers influences and inspirations in crime writing with references to a stellar cast of crime writers including Arthur Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, Dashiell Hammett, Albert Camus, Borges, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, and Ted Lewis. Hoffmann examines why crime literature may provide stronger consolation for readers than philosophy. […] Josef Hoffmann’s combination of knowledge, academic acuity, and enthusiasm makes this a must-have book for any crime fiction aficionado — with or without a philosophical nature.”

   From Josef’s article “Hard-boiled Wit: Ludwig Wittgenstein and Norbert Davis” on the main Mystery*File website: “…it can be safely assumed that Wittgenstein’s taste complied with that of his time, and that he therefore partook of all the developments in crime fiction. His liking for the more modern literary style of the hard-boiled detective stories probably developed when they had made their way into almost all the crime story magazines, including Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine – on the model of the Black Mask.”