Literary studies were no more than a series of autopsies performed by heartless technicians. Worse than autopsies: biopsies. Vivisection. Even movies, which I love more than anything, more than life itself, they even do it with movies these days.
It is often said that ‘the germ of all Stalinism was in Bolshevism at its beginning’. Well, I have no objection. Only, Bolshevism also contained many other germs, a mass of other germs, and those who lived through the enthusiasm of the first years of the first victorious socialist revolution ought not to forget it. To judge the living man by the death germs which the autopsy reveals in the corpse – and which he may have carried in him since his birth – is that very sensible?
...The next time I opened my eyes, I was in the morgue. This, all by itself, is enough to really ruin your day. I was lying on the examining table, and Butters, complete with his surgical gown and his tray of autopsy instruments, stood over me. 'I'm not dead!' I sputtered. 'I'm not dead!' - Harry Dresden, Death Masks, Jim Butcher
At the morgue, people were so desensitized that they would eat lunch in the glass walled room adjacent to the autopsy room. A viewing room. Because it had the best air conditioning in the building. So they would eat in there and maybe somebody would come in who had been found after being dead for three days and they would say: That is the exact purple I want for those drapes in the study. They didn't miss a beat. They could eat through anything.
But for the last couple of weeks I’ve had this bizarre sensation that something is watching me. (Simone) You mean someONE, right? (Tate) I know it sounds crazy – (Simone) I just had a body walk off the table mid-autopsy and you think your story is nuts? (Tate)
There was no direct way to prevent the Boston murders. There are some easy ways to prevent likely future ones: by not inciting them. That's also true of another case of a suspect murdered, his body disposed of without autopsy, when he could easily have been apprehended and brought to trial: Osama bin Laden.
It wasn't until I had performed by first autopsy that I realized that even the drabest human exteriors could contain the most beautiful viscera. After that, I would console myself for the plainness of my fellow bus-riders by dissecting them in my imagination.
What gives my books authenticity is that I actually do what it is I'm writing about. I think the fact that I am in the autopsy room, I go to the crime scene and I do work in the lab gives my books this flavor that otherwise they wouldn't have.
What makes me so certain that the natural human lifespan is far in excess of the actual one is this. Among all my autopsies (and I have performed over 1000), I have never seen a person who died of old age. In fact, I do not think that anyone has ever died of old age yet. We invariably die because one vital part has worn out too early in proportion to the rest of the body.