Re: RARA-AVIS: The Talented Mr. Ripley

From: Patrick King (
Date: 02 Apr 2007

mikers wrote: I just finished Highsmith's Talented Mr. Ripley. In the layman-judging- sanity category, I didn't see Ripley as crazy.
********** Ripley resolves problems by killing people. Culturally, this is an insane decision to make. That he gets away with it story after story shows him to be very intelligent, very insecure, totally amoral, remarkably gifted as both a mathametician and a psychologist, and lucky to a point where you'd want to figure out his horoscope. Alot of the success of these Ripley stories goes to the unique talent to believably handle the absurd, unique to Ms. Highsmith's novels. Because Ripley has high intelligence you can miss the fact that he's completely insane. Like Harris's Hannibal Lecheter and real life murders Gary Heidnick, H.H. Holmes, and the self-styled Zodiak killer, many psychotics are by no means deprived of intelligence. In Red Dragon, Lechter challenges detective, Will Graham, stating that because he was able to capture Lechter, Graham perhaps thinks he's smarter than Lechter. Graham demurs. He knows he's not smarter than Lechter. Lechter was simply at a disadvantage. What disadvantage was that? Lechter asks. "You're insane," Graham tells him candidly. Its an important point to remember. There are very few circumstances in western society when killing an adversary is a sane decision. If you eat parts of your victims corpse, or live off the proceeds of his trust fund after forging his will, most arguments for sanity fly out the window.

Patrick King
--- Michael Robison <> wrote:

> Dave Zeltserman wrote:
> I guess you could argue Lou Ford and Nick Corey are
> complex--although describing them as deeply
> psychotic
> would be more accurate.
> *************
> I haven't read Pop. 1280, but I've been feeling
> another Jim Thompson coming on. Lou is certainly a
> wild and crazy guy, isn't he?
> I just finished Highsmith's Talented Mr. Ripley. In
> the layman-judging-sanity category, I didn't see
> Ripley as crazy. The closest I saw to crazy was a
> couple minor bouts of panic.
> miker
> Expecting? Get great news right away with email
> Auto-Check.
> Try the Yahoo! Mail Beta.

____________________________________________________________________________________ TV dinner still cooling? Check out "Tonight's Picks" on Yahoo! TV.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 02 Apr 2007 EDT