Can violent and disturbed writing predict a would-be murderer?

Deranged (and beloved) novelist Stephen King lends his thoughts on whether Cho’s disturbing and violent writing could have predicted a mentally ill psychopathic serial killer. (I guess I was being redundant, huh?)

"For most creative people, the imagination serves as an excretory channel for violence: We visualize what we will never actually do (James Patterson, for instance, a nice man who has all too often worked the street that my old friend George used to work). Cho doesn’t strike me as in the least creative, however. Dude was crazy. Dude was, in the memorable phrasing of Nikki Giovanni, ”just mean.” Essentially there’s no story here, except for a paranoid a–hole who went DEFCON-1. He may have been inspired by Columbine, but only because he was too dim to think up such a scenario on his own.

On the whole, I don’t think you can pick these guys out based on their work, unless you look for violence unenlivened by any real talent."

This links up with what I’d written a couple of days ago. Creative writing that seems disturbing may not be disturbing at all, but a release for those who have imaginations run wild. Most of us keep our fantasies as just that – fantasies. Stephen King hasn’t harmed anyone and he’s got some pretty effed up books out there. Don’t judge a book – haha – by its contents.

Thanks to Bob T. for the story.

1 Comment

  1. April 25, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Personally, I’ve found most of King’s books fairly tame. Only got freaked out by one of his stories…though, that messed me up for quite awhile.
    I have to say though, without reading Cho’s work, there’s a difference between realistic writing and more fantasical (word?) writing that King uses. Most of his books just can’t happen.
    I wonder what Cho’s writing was like, was in more realistically violent and disturbing or was it more fantasy based?

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