Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior

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9780814761960: Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior
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The notion of evil- does it exist? what forms does it take? -has always fascinated humankind. The evil underlying such atrocities as the Holocaust, Communist China's Tibetan abattoir, and the murderous ethnic cleansing undertaken by the Serbs and Croats seems beyond explanations or analysis. In this powerfully original work, Oppenheimer analyzes the phenomenon of evil in a mental behavior that emerges in particular conditions. Oppenheimer argues that evil contains specific, predictable ingredients. By understanding its nature, we can diagnose its specific manifestations in mass murder, genocide, and serial killings. Utilizing a variety of cinematic and literary genres in developing its evidence, the book considers such familiar films as The Silence of the Lambs and Brazil, and draws upon such literary works as Richard III, Oedipus the King and the Picture of Dorian Gray. Evil and the Demonic takes a bold first step, providing a framework in which to place the horrors of human existence.

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From the Back Cover:

In this powerfully original work, Paul Oppenheimer analyzes the phenomenon of evil in light of a startling new theory. He proposes that evil can be understood empirically, as a type of physical and mental behavior that emerges in particular landscapes. Evil, Oppenheimer argues, contains specific, predictable ingredients and is, as such, a demonstrable fact. By understanding its nature - its diabolical self-consciousness and its impersonal selection of victims - we can diagnose its specific manifestations in mass murder, genocide, and serial killings. Crisscrossing a variety of cinematic and literary genres in developing its evidence, the book considers such familiar films as The Silence of the Lambs and Brazil and draws upon such literary works as Richard III, Oedipus the King and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Written in a style intended for both general reader and specialist, Evil and the Demonic provides a framework in which we can place the horrors of human existence.

About the Author:

Paul Oppenheimer is Professor of Comparative Medieval Literature and English at the City University of New York and Visiting Professor at University College London. He has taught in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, and he is the author of poems and short stories.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780814761939: Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior

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ISBN 10:  0814761933 ISBN 13:  9780814761939
Publisher: NYU Press, 1996
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Paul Oppenheimer
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