Christmas and Easter nihilists

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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. mx_mond
    November 27, 2017 @ 4:02 pm

    What a fantastic choice of photo.

    This is the post I’ve been waiting for from the start, so it seems like a good place to say: thank you for this project.

    Watching this episode, I thought Hannibal kills Dimmond because his rudeness betrays him as not-Will (“I’m here to help you untwist… to our mutual benefit” seems to me as blackmail, and that is both something that Hannibal would find rude and something that I don’t think Will would do), but the depths you uncover lurking behind that decision are both accurate and much more meaningful than that.

    I don’t think Hannibal is a necessarily a prude, but I do think he is to a large extent uninterested in sex (which I guess is why I was so unnerved by Alana having sex with him: I was imagining him as cold, distanced, observing with curiosity, even while (probably) simulating passion; allowing himself to be kissed by her, but keeping his eyes open, never losing himself) – because as he says, sex is something that we have been to a large extent desensitized about.

    What seems wicked, then, and what Hannibal seems to demonstrate, is cruelty and murder on which our world is resting – but only when we are made aware of it. We are perfectly content to eat animal meat even when we cry over deaths of our pets; we maintain blissful ignorance over the cost of our current standard of living that capitalism inflicts on other, unseen parts of the world. That’s what his whole modus operandi boils down to, I think: “You were praising my cooking, but all of a sudden it’s not okay, because the meat was human?”

    It’s interesting to me how this episode implicates the viewer as well. We have been content to watch Hannibal’s elaborate tableaus, but the acts of murder itself have been largely spared us (aside from Franklin and Tobias, I think). Now, like Bedelia, we are observing the slow agony of a man. Or are we participating as well?

    One final note: Hannibal puts the heart on three swords, evoking the image of the tarot Three of Swords, a card which symbolises (among other things) heartbreak. What a beautiful, economical way of showing us how he feels.


  2. Sabina
    December 7, 2017 @ 4:47 pm

    Have also been waiting for the start of the third-season write ups! Thank you for this series.

    I’ve thought that both Hannibal and Will internally conflate ethics with aesthetics (or, as you posit here, everyone does), and that this is why Hannibal never actually tries to suppress or redirect Will’s “judgment” — he reads Will’s ethics as aesthetics, finds them coherent and enjoys their expression even if they’re not his. He doesn’t need Will to stop thinking of people in terms of “bad” and “good” anymore than an atheist needs Michelangelo to lose his religion in order to enjoy the paintings.


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