The Second Side

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When you stop believing in coincidence, paranoia is only a heartbeat away.

Monday, May 01, 2006

On the Dark Side, Oh Yeah

I ran across this article in Maxim about a book I read a couple of years ago, The Collector, by John Fowles. It's about a disturbed young man who collects butterflies and moves up to collecting people.

According to Pat Brown, a criminal profiler quoted in the story, only the Bible has had a greater influence on the minds of psychopathic killers. The Collector has been linked to 5 serial killers and 40 murders. Brown says the novel provides an accurate look into "how the thinking of a serial killer works." There is little, if any, violence in the book. It is mostly a psychological duel between the girl and her captor.

Fowles claimed the book was nothing more than the "hope and vitality" of society being crushed by the "mediocrity." However, Fowles's private diaries revealed that "from puberty until recently, I frequently had conscious fantasies, or nocturnal daydreams, about imprisoning women underground," and that he fantasized about "a forcing of my personality as well as my penis on the girl concerned." Fowles found a way to channel those dark fantasies, but some of his readers did not.

The last paragraph of the article appears to cast blame on Fowles, which makes me uncomfortable. While the book may have an abnormal influence on the criminal minded, it should be remembered that the criminal mentality must be present for the book to wield its perverse influence. It cannot force a person to act against their will. There must be some receptivity to begin with.

Talk about gazing into the abyss.


Blogger Fletcher said...

Talk about gazing into the abyss.

I am there, staring back at you.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Davis said...

I read that atricle also. Killer book......(pun fully intended)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Fletcher, I thought I saw a familiar face. Nice to have company in the abyss.

Davis, it really is a pretty good read. I can see why a serial killer would like it, but us non-serial killer types can appreciate it, too.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Davis said...

Who's "US?"



2:13 PM  

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