Geeks of Saviours of the Past

| June 12, 2002

Collectors: Geeks of Saviours of the Past?, Jeet Heer, The National Post
Your life just might be changed some day by that quirky beer bottle cap collector that you've wondered about. Jeet Heer in The National Post dispels some popular conceptions about collectors, who are often seen as deranged recluses that 'prefer things to people, have trouble with normal human social interaction, and are motivated by perverted sexual impulses.' Heer cites examples of these stereotypes in media portrayals such as Ghost World, Harvey Pekar comics, and a more extreme case such as John Fowles's novel The Collector, which features a homicidal butterfly (and woman) enthusiast. But such notions about collectors are overblown, and collectors actually serve an important role in the culture as preservers of artifacts that museums and libraries turn away. 'To fill the ever greater demands for antiques and bygones,' says Heer, 'cultural institutions have had to turn to once-despised collectors, whose personal idiosyncrasy now benefit society at large.'
--Julie Madsen
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