The captive; the fugitive; the lost, the found: the story of Natascha Kampusch – of an abducted girl who disappears at the age of ten and who returns a grown-up woman – became a worldwide sensation. Even before the public had seen her “new” face it was already visible to all as a digital identikit, and in one of the numerous front pages featuring the pro-ordained “face of the year”, even given a Warholian makeover, stylized as a pop icon. After the pale star had completed, to the dissatisfaction of all voyeurs, her first interview, Austrian public television announced the third highest ratings in broadcasting history: a blockbuster in the time of postmodernism, when blockbusters have long since ceased to exist, because no story sounds “incredible” any more. Why this one? What was it about the story of K. that made it so good, so fascinating, so attractive to the masses? Why, especially at first, did it seem more exciting than any thriller, more gripping than Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs and all the other artificial hells produced by the culture industry? And – to stick with stories that really happened – why did it also seem more interesting than the Dutroux case in Belgium? Lastly, why was the event just a flash in the pan, in so far as media enthusiasm fizzled out after just a few weeks?
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