By Kirby Farrell
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Extra info for Berserk Style in American Culture
Is by no means all pleasure, as Greenberg continually observes. He speaks of Sally’s ‘pitiless ball of fire,’ her terrified grandiosity,’ of how anxious and fragile she is inside the ‘hollow exuberance’ of her mania. When one ascends to the exorbitant heights of mania, one becomes very isolated from ordinary human relationships, human scale—even though this isolation may be covered over by a defensive imperiousness or grandiosity” (60). This too sounds like the berserk state: and Berserk Style 37 also like the vulnerability that threatens to undo character after fury passes, in post-traumatic stress.
At a moment when havoc was raining down on Germany and it was obvious that the war was lost. The berserk final ten months of World War II claimed as many lives as all the preceding years of carnage. ” To “go into a rage about fine points of belief” is to be in the grip of “life-or-death” greed for meaning—and for survival. The problem is not that berserk fury eliminates meaning, but that it condenses and fixates on it. The moral world shrinks. Amok, the rampage killer hates globally, absolutely, and without mercy.
As in the devil’s pact, the mortal who appears to master the beyond whets the appetite of followers for boundless life. Alexander the Great and Napoleon left a trail of loyal corpses. Germans succumbed to the fatal allure of the absurd Hitler. What makes homicidal communities such as the Manson family so terrifying, says Becker, is that “they exaggerate the dispositions present in us all. Why should they feel guilt or remorse? ” 46 While the Manson family and Hitler’s Germany make lurid examples, what needs emphasis is the ordinariness—the naturalness—of berserk fantasy in transference.