Henry Darger and His “Realms of the Unreal”


Henry Darger and the “Realms of the Unreal”

Henry Darger on Wikipedia

Henry Darger was an artist. He was a recluse, and a janitor in Chicago. He made more pages of art and writing (somewhat like a long graphic novel) which was only discovered after his death. He kept all of this work secret his whole life. No one suspected him of pedophilia while he was living.

What do you think? Was he a paraphiliac pedophile? Or was he just very interested in erotica with little girls? But isn’t that sort of the same thing?

I think Henry Darger was a pedophile, but also a terrifying artist of erotica, in a time when nothing of the sort would have been at all possible to publish or show to any living person. I think his art shows why pedophiles need a diagnosis and treatment, instead of fear, revulsion, and loathing. If he had been properly diagnosed, he might have overcome his fixations and fantasies, and lived to create some of the greatest art ever made in comics format (or any other format, for that matter.)

I think Henry Darger can only be understood within the context of sex disorders, and the type of primary repression that occurs when a group has an outcast that is so misunderstood, a sort of willfully deviant and very maladaptive and maladjusted genius.