I’ve found two more artists who blend art and crime explicitly: Pepón Osorio and Melanie Pullen.While each one takes a radically different approach, they both take that Wallace Stevens line about Death and Beauty one step further. Is it ethical to think of murder as beauty? Sure, as long as you’re not killing your models. That’s the whole point of art; it’s everywhere. The job of an artist (including writers) is to find the beauty or potency in unexpected places and bring it to people’s attention–even if some find that offensive.

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Comment by Meg on July 20, 2011 at 7:48am
As long as truth is a part of the portrayal, I am on board, I think. In other words, there might be beautiful ways to portray death, but realities such as pain and fear must be there fully on the page as well. I remember reading a flash fiction piece told from the view of a male narrator who shoots his beautiful girlfriend and he reports she takes the bullet as well as she makes love. The narrator can say this, but I don't think it's moral and nowhere does an invisible narrator interject any other information on behalf of the dying one, like, um, the bullet in the head hurts like hell, or the narrator is clearly a psychopath. (It was not so clear as presented, which meant one was left to draw conclusions about the writer.) I would call that an immoral narrative because it doesn't also incorporate truth and could even inspire the reader to evil. Lars Gustafsson is a writer who incorporates truth and goodness and beauty into his narratives about dying: Death of a Beekeeper, Stories of Happy People. He's not a crime writer, per se, but his stories are balanced and interesting.

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