Thomas Harris and William Blake

Allusions in the Hannibal Lecter Novels

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SKU: 9780786471010 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

This work examines the allusions to Blake throughout Harris’s four Hannibal Lecter novels and provides a Blakean reading of the works as a whole, particularly in regard to the character of Lecter and the nature of evil in the world—and to what extent humanity should accept evil. The novels and their film versions reveal that Harris uses Blake to suggest that good and evil are intertwined and coexist, and that it is foolish to try to see them simply as opposing binaries. Refusing to recognize their intertwined relationship leads to imbalance and a negative outcome, as revealed in the fate of Graham in Red Dragon.

About the Author(s)

Michelle Leigh Gompf is an associate professor of English at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Michelle Leigh Gompf
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 184
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7101-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0616-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments 9

Preface 11

Introduction 13

1. “Under every Good is a hell”: William Blake’s View of Good and Evil 23

2. “The wickedness herein I took from my own stock”: Thomas Harris’s Creation of Evil 50

3. The Dragon and the Tyger: Red Dragon 68

4. Typhoid and Swans: Silence of the Lambs 97

5. Harris’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Hannibal 117

6. Printing in the Infernal Method: Hannibal Rising 144

Conclusion: “Without contraries there is no progression”—Lecter’s Blakean Progression to Balance 163

Bibliography 179

Index 183

Book Reviews & Awards

“Gompf carefully examines elements of the plots and characters of all of the Lector novels to find how they all relate not only to Blake’s work but to Blake himself. The result is well-reasoned and interesting, and send one searching for any reference in Blake ‘to a nice Chianti’”—ProtoView.