August 8th, 2005

thegreen

(no subject)

'For me, the problem in depicting this man was simple: the level of his crimes dwarfed the interest of his character. His motivations were paltry, in no way commensurate with the pain he had caused. It is often a problem with evil and that is why, in my experience, talking with mass murderers is invariably a disappointment. Great acts of evil so rarely call forth powerful character that the relation between the two seems nearly random. Put another way, that relation is not defined by melodrama, as popular fiction would have it. To understand this mass murderer, you need Dostoevsky, or Conrad.'

-- Mark Danner, 'What Are You Going to Do with That?',
from The New York Review Of Books, Volume 52, Number 11, June 23, 2005