Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In case you wondered …

… The University Bookman: Why the Exorcist Endures. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 Exorcist author William Peter Blatty based his 1971 book on a real case of demonic possession that occurred in Maryland in the 1940s. Yet the most important part of the novel was left out of the film. This section was so important to the story that it caused a rift between Blatty and director William Friedkin. Near the end of the book version, Father Lankester Merrin, an older priest, is explaining evil to Father Damien Karras, a young Georgetown Jesuit. The demon’s target, Fr. Merrin says, is not the innocent girl he takes over. The target “is us.” He continues: “I think the point is to make us despair, to reject our own humanity, Damien, to see ourselves as ultimately bestial; as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; unworthy.” Fr. Merrin then explains that the devil is not so much in wars or on great geopolitical dramas, but in the small, quotidian cruelties: “in the senseless, petty snipes; the misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between friends, between lovers.” Enough of these, he says, and “we don’t need Satan to manage our wars.”

No comments:

Post a Comment