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The Laughing Academy
A Life of Noisy Desperation
It’s a lepidopterist! Run! 
20th-Aug-2009 03:39 pm
BV - Roses Text
Is it just me, or is the appearance of a butterfly and/or moth collector in a story always a bad sign? They’re often the villain (as in The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Silence of the Lambs, or the second half of Tuesday’s Brit Noir double bill, The Clouded Yellow), but even when they aren’t (and off the top of my head, the only case I can think of is Angels and Insects) they serve as a bellwether for crime or general creepiness.
20th-Aug-2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Introducing a metaphor for the collection of pretty little things that normally fly free but now can't run away from you is always a bad sign, methinks. (Didn't Freddie Clegg in The Collector also start out acquiring insects before he graduated to human beings? Urrrgghh.)
20th-Aug-2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
I get why it happens — the nets, the killing jars, the pins — I’m just surprised that no one has ever tried subverting the cliche.
20th-Aug-2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
I read somewhere that Chinese judges would occasionally sentence an offender to catch a certain number of butterflies, on the theory it taught the offender the power of patience and contemplation and suchlike. Something along those lines might be a possible way to subvert it.
20th-Aug-2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
There was an Elizabeth Hand short story with a butterfly collector. Creepy stuff.
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