Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Casanova on torture

Crooked Timber is back now and the relevant discussions of torture are here and here.

Discussing eroticism and torture someone quotes from 'Casanova'. The p.o.v. is Casanova's.

The circumstances of Damien’s execution are too well known to render it
necessary for me to speak of them; indeed, the account would be too long a one,
and in my opinion such horrors are an offence to our common humanity.... While this victim of
the Jesuits was being executed, I was several times obliged to turn away my face
and to stop my ears as I heard his piercing shrieks... but (the other, more respectable citizens) did not budge an inch.
Was it because their hearts were hardened? They told me, and I pretended
to believe them, that their horror at the wretch’s wickedness prevented them
feeling that compassion which his unheard-of torments should have

It seems true to life, to me, that Casanova, a man most in touch with sexual pleasure, is more disgusted by the execution than his pious companions. He also seems more modern doesn't he? More like us. We would be obliged to turn away our faces and stop our ears. It also seems true to life that the people enjoying the experience pretended they were motivated by extreme rectitude, when they are obviously bloodthirsty swine.

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