Rainer Just

(1971) is a literary critic and journalist. He teaches literary theory at the Institute for Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Vienna.


Against love

Seeking the literary traces of the Natascha Kampusch affair

In August 2006, the international media went into a feeding frenzy about the story of Natascha Kampusch, who escaped after eight-and-a-half years’ captivity in a tiny room in a suburb outside Vienna. The horrific nature of the crime aside, what was it about the story that exerted such fascination? In a searing critique of social mores, Rainer Just argues that the Kampusch case offered, without it ever being noticed, a distorted re-encounter with a deeply familiar emotional programme: romantic love. “The mass public and its media were able to understand the Kampusch case only as a sensational crime, as a criminal incident, but not as a case of a ubiquitous, socially organized madness.”

Read in Journals

Cover of Host