Is The Killer Inside Me an anti-anti-intellectual manifesto?
|Smart. Very smart.|
"I took down a bound volume of one of the German periodicals and read a while. I put it back and took down one in French. I skimmed through an article in Spanish and another in Italian. I couldn’t speak any of those languages worth a doggone, but I could understand ’em all. I’d just picked ’em up with Dad’s help, just like I’d picked up some higher mathematics and physical chemistry and half a dozen other subjects."Ford is simple on the outside but in fact reads at least five languages and uses reason and scientific knowledge to bamboozle less-sophisticated adversaries. On the other hand, he did not acquire his knowledge at school. Rather, he just picked it up reading his father’s books (and his father turns out to have been pretty warped, too). And, of course, he's a sadist, a psychopath, and a killer.
Is Lou Ford's clandestinely acquired knowledge, which lurks beneath the cornpone exterior, subversive? Is Thompson saying that in America in the 1950s, to be literate, multilingual, and acquainted with science was to be an outcast?
© Peter Rozovsky 2013
Labels: Jim Thompson