To amuse the mouth: antropopophagy in Thomas Harris’s Tetralogy of Hannibal Lecter novels

17 September 2014

The article is divided into two sections, like a two-course meal. The first section begins by defining food before considering some cultural aspects of what constitutes normal/permissible versus abnormal/non-permissible comestibles; it rounds out with a brief subsection devoted to anthropophagy. The second section discusses cannibalism (and some of its associated processes, such as decapitation and evisceration) as themes in Thomas Harris's tetralogy of novels featuring the psychiatrist/serial killer/cannibal, Hannibal Lecter. Cumulatively, the two sections seek to explore and explain how and why, in Hannibal Lecter's case, “Der Mensch ist was er iβt” (Man is what he eats).