Why is the world of fiction (and non-fiction to a lesser extent) dominated by stories of violence? Are most people strangely drawn to cruelty or is some other dynamic at work? Catharsis? Projection? Simone Weil offers an interesting idea which contrasts the imaginary and the real:
Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.