Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another point of view on crime

It's called common sense.

Moriarty treats women abominably and uses them solely as objects for his gratification; he is violent towards them; no single instance of consideration towards any of them is given in the book; he has several children by them, all of whom he abandons without a moment’s hesitation or subsequent thought for their fate, though he himself is the victim of an unfortunate upbringing. This, it should be noted, makes him not less, but more culpable, inasmuch as he is perfectly aware of the effect that such an upbringing can have upon a child.
[My emphasis]

This is from a reappraisal of that seminal work, Kerouac's On The Road. I started to read it a few years ago, but got so bored by page 30 or 50, or something, that I gave up. Anthony Daniels (I prefer the moniker Theodore Dalrymple) agrees, but he had the steel (or the commission) to read the whole lot.

In a nutshell, it is a work of "extreme banality" by "a prophet of immaturity". What characterises it?

[N]either Sal nor Dean are very interested in anything at all apart from themselves, and even in themselves only in the shallowest, most inconsequential possible way.

It is, however and most unfortunately, a work of "sociological importance". Enough said.

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