I just got back from a play in which a mother kills her child and then kills herself. I found the conclusion satisfying. It made sense for the character’s arc. But most of all I found the “perversion” of such acts deeply satisfying.
I enjoy the “fucked up shit”. There is a reason I surgically graphed myself to Hannibal, and why I love Hamlet and The Color Purple, amongst other fucked up works.
For me, it’s the pleasure of visiting the precipice: of peering over the edge, into the dark void of what it means to be human. It’s not about finding satisfaction in suffering or pain, but of seeing a glimpse of our humanity in extreme situations.
Some people don’t have the stomach for this material, and that’s fine. Others protest the “immorality” of these works, as if art is rigid and uncomplicated.
But art — good art — is fluid and dynamic. It makes you think, and see, and feel the world differently. And in these cases, it’s visiting that precipice and learning about who we are.