Also, the author created the scene in his head, chose to graphically describe cruel, depraved actions. Yes, of course there is a huge difference between thinking up sick behavior and actually humiliating, torturing and assaulting a person. But whose mind goes that way? What does that say about Stieg Larsson?
Again, I reject the notion of external censorship. No, I don't want people to be prevented from writing books and making films about this stuff. But it simply makes me sad, disappointed and angry that humans think it's a good thing to literally portray their horrible, cruel thoughts for Society's entertainment. That's all there is to it. I wish people weren't that way.
Edited to add, I am not a religious person, not even very spiritual. I don't believe in souls. I don't believe in some sort of mystical cloud-sourced human consciousness. But I do think we degrade Society as a whole when we degrade ourselves by portraying and amplifying the worst of human kind's impulses. People make choices, and I simply wish people would choose not to.
I understand what you're trying to say, but as an artist myself, I've come across a lot of people who have tried to evaluate what was going on in my head...and from an artists' perspective, that can be frustrating. Maybe Stieg Larsson is a depraved individual, maybe he's not, but I have used certain disturbing images in the past in order to convey my own thoughts on human depravity and injustice and it was less about how I felt and more of critique of human nature and injustice itself. One of the reasons that I don't make a living as an artist is that I refuse to make/paint art that is pretty or acceptable. Why? Because there are a lot of unacceptable things in the world that I personally feel need to be addressed. Part of the way that I deal with the madness around me is to comment on it, whether in art or writing or whatever medium via images (rather real or proverbial). I don't do these things to get a rise out of it. I don't do these things because the images or stories give me personal pleasure. I do it because I think the story needs to be told and it helps me disassociate with the ugliness. I think that many an artist (whether it be painter, filmmaker, poet) feels the same way I do.
That being said, I agree with Smokering that we have a lot of options at our disposal which allows us to weed through the things that we want to view or personally censor.
I don't mean for this post to deflect from the OP's personal pain in being exposed to these images. I totally empathize with her position. I just worry when the discussion starts being dissected into artists' perceived depraved minds and the what-is-this-world-coming-to spin offs. We all have things which trigger certain negative emotions. I can think of certain films and documentaries which have been made in the last few years concerning very recent events that had a profound impact on me. My solution is to not watch the films, but I totally respect those who need/want to tell the story, whether from their perspective or from the perspective of others. They need to tell the story and I can't really judge their motivations. Fiction, I feel, should enjoy the same wide breadth of expression.