John

Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)
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Read between December 27 - December 29, 2016
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One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.   —ALPHONSE BERTILLON
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... For Mercy has a human heart, Pity a human face, And Love, the human form divine, And Peace, the human dress.   —WILLIAM BLAKE, Songs of Innocence
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Cruelty has a Human Heart, and Jealousy a Human Face, Terror the Human Form Divine, and Secrecy the Human Dress.   The Human Dress is forged Iron, The Human Form a fiery Forge, The Human Face a Furnace seal’d, The Human Heart its hungry Gorge.   —WILLIAM BLAKE, Songs of Experience
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To write a novel, you begin with what you can see and then you add what came before and what came after.
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There was no question that something had happened. You must understand that when you are writing a novel you are not making anything up. It’s all there and you just have to find it.
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and there, maddeningly, before we could get down to business, we encountered the kind of fool you know from conducting your own daily business,
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I am invisible to my characters when I’m in a room with them and they are deciding their fates with little or no help from me.
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I was enjoying my usual immunity while working, my invisibility to Chilton and Graham and the staff, but I was not comfortable in the presence of Dr. Lecter, not sure at all that the doctor could not see me.
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Graham’s interview with Dr. Lecter went quickly, in real time at the speed of swordplay, me following it, my frantic notes spilling into the margin and over whatever surface was uppermost on my table. I was worn out when it was over—the
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how seldom we recognize the sound when the bolt of our fate slides home.
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“You don’t want to talk about it here.” “I don’t want to talk about it anywhere, Jack. You’ve got to talk about it, so let’s have it.
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“Will, this freak seems to be in phase with the moon.
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Hell, I’m not the pope, I’m not saying what you ought to do, but I want to ask you, do you respect my judgment, Will?” “Yes.”
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You’re open and calm and easy now . . . I love that.” “We have a good time, don’t we?” Her single styptic blink told him he should have said something better.
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Darkness fell quickly and Jupiter appeared, low in the southwest. They walked back to the house beside the rising gibbous moon.
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“He thinks you want him to look at evidence.” “I do want him to look at evidence. There’s nobody better with evidence. But he has the other thing too. Imagination, projection, whatever. He doesn’t like that part of it.” “You wouldn’t like it either if you had it.
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He tried to be still inside. In his mind a silver pendulum swung in darkness. He waited until the pendulum was still.
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He was an old hand at fear. He could manage this one. He simply was afraid, and he could go on anyway.
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He could see and hear better afraid; he could not speak as concisely, and fear sometimes made him rude. Here, there was nobody left to speak to, there was nobody to offend anymore.
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Graham switched on the lights and bloodstains shouted at him from the walls, from the mattress and the floor. The very air had screams smeared on it. He flinched from the noise in this silent room full of dark stains drying.
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Graham had a lot of trouble with taste. Often his thoughts were not tasty. There were no effective partitions in his mind. What he saw and learned touched everything else he knew. Some of the combinations were hard to live with. But he could not anticipate them, could not block and repress.
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His learned values of decency and propriety tagged along, shocked at his associations, appalled at his dreams; sorry that in the bone arena of his skull there were no forts for what he loved.
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His associations came at the speed of light. His value judgments were at the pace of a responsive reading. They could nev...
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He viewed his own mentality as grotesque but useful, like a chair made of antlers. There was n...
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Graham was nearly forty and just beginning to feel the tug of the way the world was then; it was a sea anchor streamed behind him in heavy weather.
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It was a striking display and Graham had looked at it for some time. He knew they were only Kewpie dolls, but he could feel the focus of their attention. So many of them looking.
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What were they watching? Nothing; they were all dead. But their eyes were open.
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There’s something you don’t want me to know about you. Why, there’s something you’re ashamed of. Or is it something you can’t afford for me to know?
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“Will Graham!” he said. “Remember me—Freddy Lounds? I covered the Lecter case for the Tattler. I did the paperback.”
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“Lounds, you write lying shit, and The National Tattler is an asswipe. Keep away from me.”
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Graham, who owned almost nothing except basic fishing equipment, a third-hand Volkswagen, and two cases of Montrachet, felt a mild animosity toward the adult toys and wondered why.
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“Just to yourself, what do you call him?” “He’s a monster. I think of him as one of those pitiful things that are born in hospitals from time to time. They feed it, and keep it warm, but they don’t put it on the machines and it dies. Lecter is the same way in his head, but he looks normal and nobody could tell.”
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Graham was a natural procrastinator, and he knew it. Long ago in school he had made up for it with speed. He was not in school now.
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The reasons clacked like roller-coaster cogs pulling up to the first long plunge, and at the top, unaware that he clutched his belly, Graham said it aloud. “I have to see Lecter.”
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Graham had stared through the bars for about five seconds when Lecter opened his eyes and said, “That’s the same atrocious aftershave you wore in court.”
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Do you ever have any problems, Will?” “No.” “Of course you don’t.” Graham felt that Lecter was looking through to the back of his skull. His attention felt like a fly walking around in there.
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Dr. Lecter seldom holds his head upright. He tilts it as he asks a question, as though he were screwing an auger of curiosity into your face.
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“You just came here to look at me. Just to get the old scent again, didn’t you? Why don’t you just smell yourself?”
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“The reason you caught me is that we’re just alike” was the last thing Graham heard as the steel door closed behind him.
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That was not how the Red Dragon would do it.
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He must bear down. This was his life’s work, a magnificent thing. It would live forever.
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“Hannibal the Cannibal Helps Lawmen—Cops Consult Fiend in ‘Tooth Fairy’ Murders.”
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It’s like having a king snake under the house. They may not see him much, but it’s nice to know he’s there to eat the moccasins.”
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Few things made him angry anymore. He knew that he was developing a becoming dignity.
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Across the first page, in large letters he had illuminated himself, were the words from Revelation: “And There Came a Great Red Dragon Also . . .”
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For Lecter, alone among all men, might have the sensitivity and experience to understand the glory, the majesty of Dolarhyde’s Becoming.
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Dolarhyde bore screams as a sculptor bears dust from the beaten stone.
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blood and breath were only elements undergoing change to fuel his Radiance. Just as the source of light is burning.
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He would like to meet Lecter, talk and share with him, rejoice with him in their shared vision, be recognized by him as John the Baptist recognized the One who came after, sit on him as the Dragon sat on 666 in Blake’s Revelation series, and fil...
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the signature was enclosed in an oval bite mark; his notary seal, an imprimatur flecked with old blood.
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