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Castelnuovo-Tedesco, P. (1974). Stealing, Revenge and the Monte Cristo Complex. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:169-177.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:169-177

Stealing, Revenge and the Monte Cristo Complex Related Papers

Pietro Castelnuovo-Tedesco

A vertigo seized Edmond; he cocked his gun and laid it beside him. He then closed his eyes as children do in order to perceive in the shining night of their imagination more stars than are visible in the firmament; then he reopened them, and stood motionless with amazement. Three compartments divided the coffer. In the first blazed piles of golden coin; in the second, bars of unpolished gold …; in the third, … handfuls of diamonds, pearls and rubies … After having touched, felt and examined these treasures, Edmond rushed through the caverns like a man seized with frenzy; he leaped on a rock, from whence he could behold the sea. He was alone. Alone with these countless, these unheard-of treasures! Was he awake, or was it but a dream? ALEXANDRE DUMAS, The Count of Monte Cristo, ch. 25

It is permissible to surmise that if Edmond Dantès, later the Count of Monte Cristo, had been a real person, a living being rather than a character in a 19th-century romantic novel, he might have been known as a thief. This statement may seem startling, or at least puzzling at first, since most of us remember Monte Cristo from our youth as the epitome of moral righteousness. In fact, it was precisely this quality that made him so attractive to the reader, then under the sway of the natural idealism of adolescence. How could one, at that age, not admire his steadfastness in pursuit of wrongdoers, his single-mindedness in tracking down those who had hurt him and his persistence in obtaining, finally, the revenge which was so justly his.

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