Landscape Stories | Issue 21 | Editorial

Crime

 

The fact of living in a society eager and ambitious is not enough for us to explain the progress of the tribute to evil. It is part of the very structure of our evolution. The same chemical systems and the same environmental practices which include and make strong vices, obsessions, perditions and drifts are the reasons that make us sometimes identify with the victims and often the perpetrators. We belong to the same human race able to paint the Sistine Chapel and drop the bomb on Hiroshima or to perform cruel genocide. Evil plays an important task for the observer:  to distance themselves from those who committed an evil deed in the illusion of being different or even better than the other person. Individual choice seems to take on a key role. For the French intellectual Georges Bataille: “Evil is the deliberate violation of some fundamental prohibitions.”

Etimology

Crime: from latin crimen, derivation of cernere, that is distinguish, decide (Treccani); from the word crimen comes the latin crimen-mìnis derivated from cernere in judical sense,  first in the sense of “decision”, then “accusation “, finally “crime” (Devoto G .: etymological dictionary, Le Monnier, Florence, 1968).  So the word refers simultaneously to a law (whether formally enunciated by a community or implicitly shared it – natural law), to its violation and to blame / punishment that follows.

Mythology

The three constituent elements of the crime (rule, offense, punishment) appear since the founding myths of civilization.  There are many examples, one for all the story of murder of Abel and the subsequent punishment. Cain said to the Lord: “The punishment is too great to be bearable to me. Here,  now you have driven me from the face of this land,  and I shall be hidden from your face, and I will be a restless wanderer on the earth; and it shall be that anyone who finds me will kill me”. And the Lord said to him: “Therefore, if anyone kills Cain, will suffer vengeance seven times more than him”. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, so that noone, finding, killed him. (Genesis 4: 13-15)

Bernardo Provenzano, said by some Binnu u ‘Tratturi (Bernardo the tractor, for the violence with which mowed the lives of his enemies), considered the leader of the Cosa Nostra in July 1994 wrote thus: “I beg you to be always calm and upright, correct and consistent; to knows how to take advantage of the experience of the of past suffering, to not discredit everything that people tell you, to always looks for the truth before you speak, and remember that it’s never enough to have a try to address an argument. To be sure in an argument requires three proofs,  and fairness and consistency. May the Lord bless you and keep you … “

In 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni made the film Blow Up. The main character played by David Hemmings captures a photograph evidence of a crime, but soon it will be clear that this will not be enough to solve the mystery. Reality has many faces and it is an infinite number of possibilites. Even the evidence or an image recorded on a plate may be denied.

 

Landscape Stories 9/2015