The struggle in terms of the strange

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Jack Graham
    April 3, 2017 @ 9:29 am

    I seem to recall that we threw around the idea of Hannibal as a gnostic show in our Shabcast about it. In at one strand of gnosticism, there are two gods – and it’s the evil one who created this evil world we live in.


    • mr_mond
      April 3, 2017 @ 10:17 am

      My belief is that the gnostic god of the show is Hannibal himself – after all, he is at the centre of it, bending everything around him and manipulating people to fit his design. He just likes to think of himself as Satan rebelling against some other, unseen god – not unlike populist millionaires fashioning themselves as anti-establishment figures.


  2. Mike
    April 3, 2017 @ 11:42 am

    Loving this series. I think Hannibal’s thing about “eating the rude” is not something he’s very consistent about, but he’s attached to this picture of himself, so when needed lies to himself about who is or is not rude. This reminds me of Malcolm Tucker on “The Thick of It,” who makes a big deal of being abusive to politicians and kind to the common man, but is quick to blow up at a cab driver nonetheless. I’m sure he excuses this as a rare lapse from his code.


  3. Joseph
    April 3, 2017 @ 1:45 pm

    Something that the show kind of lets pass outside of this episode, but is definitely in the first two or three movies, and the books, is Hannibal’s odd lapses into being very American – “God’s terrific”, a very American phrasing, though of course one that relies on the double meaning. A British English speaker might be more likely to say “God’s fantastic”, or an Irish person might, with their tongue in their cheek, say “God’s grand”. “Terrific” is a very Middle American word somehow, and Hannibal’s use is at least as much the Middle American meaning of the term as a positive as the older sense.


    • Lauri Franzon
      April 3, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

      But Hannibal isn’t supposed to be English or Irish, is he? He’s Lithuanian!

      We obvioulsy don’t know what places he’s lived in before Baltimore (aside from Florence, obviously), but if you assume he hasn’t spent much time in the rest of Anglosphere, it absolutely makes sense for him to speak American english.


    • Aina Kos
      April 4, 2017 @ 8:02 pm

      It always struck me as a double-meaning? For the audience if nothing else (maybe the word play plays better in text?) There’s the modern positive connotation of terrific as “great” or “very good” but as an educated man, a non-native English speaker, and one who is fond of double meanings, I’m sure Hannibal is also aware of terrific’s etymology: from the Latin terrificus (“causing terror”), from terrere (“to frighten, terrify”). Terror, terrific. The earliest or one of the earliest citations of terrific is from Milton’s Paradise Lost, in fact—used to describe the Serpent in the Garden.

      “Frighteningly great” might be a good middle road translation to this particular terrific?


  4. Lauri Franzon
    April 3, 2017 @ 4:54 pm

    I’m beginning to suspect I’ll have to rewatch the series before reading these posts. The series seems to be littered with meaningful foreshadowing. And while it probably is obvious that everything about Abigail becomes more multi-layered on a re-watch, the joke about the Newton’s Cradle is an excellent example of something that becomes thematically resonant on a rewatch, but which you would never remember if you didn’t.

    The fughi murderer was in many ways a perfect hook for the series! It not only demonstrates Hannibal’s gorgeously morbid aesthetic sense, but it also invites the audience to feel empathic towards the act of murder. Eldons “vision” isn’t obviously meant to be logical, but at the same time it’s very understandable. His monologue is not only establishing killing as an artistic action, but also as an empathic and philosophical action. The case is designed to make us ask the exactly the right questions to lure us deeper into Hannibal’s trap… world.


  5. Alex
    April 5, 2017 @ 2:52 am

    A Newton’s Cradle, of course, would be an ideal spot to catch some Newton’s Sleep…


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