Extract from a diary dated 2 July 1992 (one day before Morse had found himself in Lyme Regis)
I must write a chapter on 'Gradualism' in my definitive opus on pornography, for it is the
gradual nature of the erotic process that is all important, as even that old fascist Plato had the nous to see. Yet this is a factor increasingly forgotten by the writers and the film-directors and the video-makers. If they ever knew it 'Process' is what it should be all about. The process typified in the lifting of a full-length skirt to a point just above the ankle, or the first unfastening of a button on a blouse! Do I make things clear? Without the skirt, what man will glory in the ankle? Without the blouse, what man will find himself aroused by the mere button? Nudity itself is nothing: it is the intent of nudity which guarantees the glorious engagement. Never did nudity in itself mean very much to me, even when I was a young boy. Never did I have any interest in all those Italian paintings of naked women. Likewise it seems to me that few of our licentious and promiscuous youth take overmuch notice of the women who flaunt their bodies daily in the tabloid press. Such young men are more interested in back-page soccer stories. Is there a moral here?
I've just read through all that shit I've just written and it makes me sound almost sane. Almost as if I'd laugh outright at any quack who suggested that I ought to go along and
see somebody. But in truth there's not much to laugh about considering the wreck I've now become – I've always been pererhaps. These others are bloody lucky. Christ, how lucky they are! They have their erotic fancies and imaginings and get their fixes from their filthy mags and porno flicks and casual sex. But me? Ha!,I study those articles in the quality press about the efects of pornography on the sex-crime statistics. That's what the civilized sex maniacs do. Does then pornography have the effect that is claimed? I doubt it. Yet I wish it did. Yes! Then almost everyone would be committing some dreadful sex-offence each day. I know – of course I do! – that such a state of affairs wouldn't be all that bloody marvellous for the goody-goody girls who've been guarding their virginity. But at least I would be normal! I would be normal.
Come on Time! Hurry along there! It is tomorrow that I see her and I can hardly wait to watch the hours go by. Why do I wait? Because although I have never really loved my wife (or my children all that much) I would sacrifice almost everything in my life if by so doing I could spare her the despairing humiliation of learning about my own shame.
(Later) I picked up The Guardian in the SCR and read about a Jap who murdered a young model and feasted off her flesh for a fortnight. They didn't keep him in jail very long because he was manifestly crackers. But when they transferred him to a loony asylum he kicked up such a fuss that they didn't keep him there long either. Why? Because the authorities became convinced that he was normal. After they'd let him go he said to a newspaper reporter: 'My time in the mental ward was like Hell. Everyone else in there was real crazy, but the doctors saw that I wasn't like the rest of them. They saw I was normal. So they let me go.' I wasn't too upset about what this weirdo said. What really upset me was what the
reporter said. He said the most distressing aspect of this strange and solitary cannibal was the fact that he really believed himself to be normal! Don't you see what I'm saying?