Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Munger on violence

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 01 Sep 2003

"Instead what we get far too often is the pornography of violence, nothing more, nothing less."

Kevin, you say that like it's a bad thing.

Actually, joking aside, I agree with you. While I have nothing against violence in a book, even enjoy it when it is used well -- for instance, decades later, I still remember very vividly the death of the Lieutenant in Naked and the Dead; or in Derek Raymond's books -- far too often it is overblown and gratuitous. That's why I tossed aside Rex Miller's Slob both times I tried to read it; the extreme violence against women wasn't shocking, just boring (and how can Harlan Ellison possibly rationalize his endorsement of Miller after his public railing against DePalma's similar aesthetic?).

Often, the threat of violence can be far more effective. Wasn't it Poe who suggested that the reader's imagination can fill out a far more terrifying picture than any author can write? And Hitchcock who said it was the anticipation that created suspense, not the explosion?


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