Wednesday, May 14, 2008

a blooming lot more

At Paper Cuts, Barry Gewen discusses The Collector via Austrian sicko Josef Fritzel.

I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I thought of when I heard about Josef Fritzl — the 73-year-old Austrian who held his daughter prisoner for 24 years and fathered seven children with her — was John Fowles’s 1963 novel, “The Collector.” In the book, Frederick drugs a 20-year-old art student, Miranda, and imprisons her in a basement/dungeon. In the real world, Josef drugged his 18-year-old daughter, Elisabeth, and imprisoned her in a basement/dungeon. An article in Der Spiegel even refers to Fritzl as a kind of “collector.”

In the book’s most famous passage — probably its only famous passage — Frederick tells Miranda: “You think I’m not normal keeping you here like this. Perhaps I’m not. But I can tell you there’d be a blooming lot more of this if more people had the money and the time to do it. Anyway there’s more of it now than anyone knows.”