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Submitted Literature

So Little Done: The Testament of a Serial Killer

By T Dalrymple

Review

Very cleverly written testimony of a fictional serial killer, written pseudonymously by psychiatrist Anthony Daniels.  The narrator uses philosophical, anthropological, logical and moral arguments to – surprisingly successfully – argue his case for the murder of those who he feels are the ‘dregs’ of society. Utilising direct contact with and appeals to the reader, Dalrymple minimises the distance between serial killer and morally-superior-as-not-killer, leaving the reader of this taught narrative in an impossibly contradictive position with regards notions of morality and ethics.

Key Themes:

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Revealing Reads

Significant Quotes / Pages

24 – “It is well-known that psychiatrists are not the most balanced of people themselves, yet they presume to judge the sanity of others.  And what a procession of the intellectually halt, limping and lame past before me in the name of psychiatric science!  One of them, dressed in a corduroy jacket and open necked shirt (very unprofessional) spoke in exaggeratedly dulcet tones, as if to imply that he would understand anything I said to him, and that his understanding was a form of infallible absolution.  I have the distinct impression that another of them, younger than the rest but already balding, was excited, and perhaps even honoured, to be called upon to examine a personage as notorious as I, whose conduct had preoccupied the newspapers for days on end.  He looked at me as though he was searching for visible signs of wickedness upon my countenance, that he asked the same foolish questions as all the others, that I might fit into the procrustean psychiatric moral and diagnostic schemata.” 

Reference: T, Dalrymple. 1995. So Little Done: The Testament of a Serial Killer. London: Andre Deutsch, 1995

Reviewer

- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Friday 20th March 2009