The Art of Punishment?
ONCE RADICAL EVIL SHRINKS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL PROPORTIONS, society’s ability to inflict hardship—including the psychological pain of deep remorse—diminishes. Restitution and rehabilitation become one and the same thing. That pulls the rug out from under an artist’s capacity to conceive anything close to the grand hellscapes, sublime in their gravity, that came freely to Hieronymous Bosch. When intuitions of the demonic are disarmed and superceded by a therapeutic culture, what images are left to draw upon? Bosch lived in age that made this plausible: // // Contemporary Norway appears to have progressed to, even surpassed, this: // What brought Bosch to mind—more precisely, the contemporary impossibility of his hellscapes—is the post that appeared on the blog of Foreign Policy: “The Not-So-Terrible Fate of Norway’s Alleged Killer.” Continue Reading