Hannibal Lecter and Philosophy
Routinely voted one of the greatest villains in film, television, and literary history, Hannibal Lecter is easily the most likeable cannibal in pop culture. He is erudite, brilliant, engaging, persuasive, personable, and funny, but those qualities don’t make him any less of a monster. Arguably, they make him more of one, since he can hide in plain sight where so many other monsters must lurk in the shadows.
Hannibal Lecter and Philosophy tries its damnedest to explore the myriad depths of Dr. Lecter through his words, his actions, his deceptions, his “rules,” and his peculiar appetites. And whether we’re talking the novels, the films, or Bryan Fuller’s vision on Hannibal in the eponymous TV show, it’s all fascinating stuff.
Through no fault of their own, the essays involving the literary Hannibal are the weakest, because the subsequent novels made some troublesome changes to the original vision of the character. The essays based on the TV show, appropriately enough, stand out, as the show itself was much richer and more complex than the novels or the movies. It seems that no matter how talented the essayist is, they’re only as good as their material.
Joseph Westfall, Editor