Saturday, July 4, 2009

AC Doyle and Suspicion

It is quite remarkable that a short story written one hundred and eighteen years ago should capture succinctly the conundrum so many governments and organizations still navigate. In an article in The American Interest Online, The Strange Case of Florence Hartmann by Ruth Wedgwod she notes the following.

But this also shows why the judges might wish to reread Arthur Conan Doyle's tale of the purloined letter. A judicial ruling whose logic is made public may provoke disagreement. But a ruling whose existence and logic are kept secret is likely to provoke suspicion.

The article is about a somewhat interesting but complex case of clumsily constructed governmental entities trying to achieve an important end but stepping all over expectations of normal procedure in the process.

My point, though, is not about the particular case but rather the fact that Doyle and his writing still has the currency to illuminate by allusion.

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