A book faces me across the room from a bookcase in my office. It has a blood-red and black cover. The author’s name is printed in black down the upper part of the spine and the title in white below that. The title is Io Uccido—“I Kill” in Italian. I’ve meant for some time to begin reading it, without having looked further than the textual quote on the back cover from which I know that the novel’s protagonist is a man unable to sleep at night because the urge to evil that rides him like an incubus is sleepless, too. He has only one way to satisfy it: “Io Uccido.”
As a title, this stark sentence seems to me perfect for the title of a novel: clean, arresting, graphic, brutal, and horribly concise. It came to mind this morning as I was reading a page by Christopher Dawson, where he speaks of
the masters of this world, [who] find themselves left with nothing but their own sterile lusts. For this “leisure civilization” in which people sit down to eat and to drink and rise up to play is the dark world which has turned its face from God and from which God’s face is hidden. It is terrible not only on account of its emptiness but because there is a positive power of evil waiting to fill the void, like the unclean spirit in the parable that came out of the waste places into the empty soul.