Geeks of Saviours of the Past

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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