Cannibalism, ritual, love and writing.
Date of Issue2011
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Consumption of human flesh is not a nouveau idea. The tales of cannibalistic witches and old hags intent on making a meal out of innocent children are rife within The Grimm Tales. Yet, in December 2002, Armin Meiwes shocked the world by pleading guilty to killing and eating Bernd-Jurgen Brandes. The cannibalistic act was entirely consensual and the victim, Brandes had full understanding of the events that were to unfold. In fact, Brandes had responded to an “advertisement” placed by Meiwes on an online forum “The Cannibal Café” for a blonde man of between 18 to 30 who was agreeable to being eaten and participating in the act of cannibalism. Besides the shock of discovering that the taboo act of cannibalism was performed, it was the method which it was engaged in, the consensual agreement of two adults that added to the fear factor. Marvin Harris posits that it is, “part of human nature to pay rapt attention to unusual sights and sounds such as blood spurting from wounds and loud shrieking and howling.” (156) but these events were generally associated with the unwillingness of the victim. The masochistic victim is terrifying as it defies the conventional notions of self-preservation. When a person goes beyond the expected conventions of society, such as in this case, the maverick illustrates that a greater fear lurks beyond the limits of one’s Imagination.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University