La bocca del male. Cannibalismo, estetizzazione e performatività nell'ecosistema narrativo di Hannibal Lecter

Mario Tirino


The Mouth of Evil. Cannibalism, Aestheticization and Performativity in the Narrative Ecosystem of Hannibal Lecter. The paper explores from a socio-cultural perspective how the theme of cannibalism is used in the narrative ecosystem focused on Hannibal Lecter (four novels by Thomas Harris, five films, a television series). The imaginary related to food in this transmedial ecosystem illustrates the path that goes from procuring to preparation until consumption. In this key, the paper analyses the ways moral norms of a given era identify some relationships with food as normatively acceptable, while classifying others as "abnormal", referring to cannibal cultures (Kilgour 1990). Novels, films, and ABC series are analyzed according to two functions associated with the cannibalistic gesture (Arens 2001): the symbolic function associated with eating human flesh and the aestheticizing function. Finally, the paper debates the figure of the cannibalistic killer in ABC tv show, as a paradigmatic example of the transition from the classical hero to the postclassic hero (Cano-Gomez 2012) and the representation of evil in terms of identity performance, in the wider context of the post-seriality television (Brancato 2011). 


cannibalism; transmedia; Hannibal Lecter; narrative ecosystem; evil

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