Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hot on the trail of a summer obsession

Every summer brings on a macabre news obsession. Remember Andrew Cunanan? Well, maybe you don't. Anyway, if you're like me, the story of Theresa Duncan has gripped your imagination. (That's why you're here, isn't it?)

I had never heard of Duncan or her blog until LA Observed reported her missing. LO's Kevin Roderick described the blog as "a personal favorite of mine." So naturally, I hightailed it over to The Wit of the Staircase to see what the fuss was about. I then followed Roderick's link to perfume blogger Anya McCoy, who seemed to have inside info Duncan's dissapearance. (McCoy turned out to be correct. By the time Roderick reported her missing, Duncan was already climbing that big escalier in the sky.)

I was instantly hooked on this story for several reasons:

  1. Duncan was originally missing—and who doesn't like a good mystery? Perhaps I could solve it.
  2. Duncan's blog was named after a French phrase I actually had heard of before. (Mardy Grothe explains it in a great little book I own called Viva la repartee: clever combacks & witty retorts from history's great wits and wordsmiths.)
  3. Duncan and I have something in common: In the early 90s, I co-published a 'zine with a pretentious-sounding French phrase as its title.
  4. Perfume blogs? Who knew?!

You may have your own reasons for following Duncan's story—and as a result, her companion Jeremy Blake's long swim goodbye too (hey, at least the Atlantic is warm)—but the fact is we're both tormentented by this tale. We want to know more.

I've started this blog as a way to catalogue what's been written about Duncan and Blake. This way, instead of scouring the web for fresh insights, Duncanologists can just stop here.

I would say "Enjoy!" But somehow that has a happy ring to it that doesn't quite sound appropriate here. So... argh-hem! read on.