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Thread: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

  1. #1
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    Something I started writing in English. Like always, though, the things I write in English (instead of in Greek) have almost no planning at all, and are at best some sedated mimesis of Poe :/ That said, feedback is welcome!

    "
    Most people do not think of the meaning of any term; not even of terms which by their very nature relate something to be acted upon. Take vengeance, for example: While it is common knowledge that vengeful behavior can be either planned, cold-blooded, or happen on the spur of the moment during a fit of rage, not many individuals who have taken the law into their own hands are actually aware of what it is they were to accomplish. Certainly anyone who has hit back can tell you that the aim was to avenge the first injury; ask them why, though, and they are more likely to stare or scoff at your question than notice their gross unfamiliarity with the very nature of the undertaken task and fulfilled end.

    Indeed, they seem to be experiencing vengeance itself as a mere mimesis – to a symmetric or asymmetric degree – of the harm done to themselves, brought about by its infliction on the original offender. Yet this is far from an explanation of what vengeance is, for in my view it should instead be regarded as a description of its external characteristics; in this sense, their response would be as false as that of a child which we asked to define a triangle and all we got was a crude drawing, revealing in the process that the child knew nothing of the defining principles of that specific geometrical form.

    But if one harms you, and you harm them in turn, the defining aspect of your act isn’t that you harmed them, but that you did so in response to your own injury. And why did you feel inclined, or even forced, to respond in such a way to your injury by them? What is, in other words, the spirit of vengeance itself? I believe it is the spirit of reciprocating an ill, and as to the underlying reason behind the reciprocation… I find that to be a sense of neutralizing the original ill suffered.

    It is as if the original attack had to be repelled and then answered back, to sufficient degree, and we often read about those murdering in passion, feeling that they had to kill so as to acquire sufficient closure. Now murder is a case of particular interest, when it is vengeful, because here we may more easily notice just how irrational the impulse to answer back or to harm in turn is in regards to achieving an actual negation of the results the original (usually also murderous, or leading to complete ruin on some level) attack: The vengeful murderer simply cannot hope they will return things to the previous state of equilibrium; a loved one was killed, or some other major catastrophic event took place, and they are clearly powerless to reverse any of that – and yet they still do fight back and obliterate the guilty party, neutralizing the force which forever altered the resting point of life’s precious and so fragile pendulum. AND YET if asked, assuming they did destroy in a moment of rage, they will always explain away their action by speaking of reciprocals and closures. Because, as I already noted, they confuse the description of their operations with the meaning they had, not being the least bit conscious of the latter. And it’s no wonder they are unaware of the meaning: the meaning is seemingly illogical; they never would be able to cancel the old harm by bringing about its reciprocation.

    Some meanings are illogical, but this does not at all connote that they remain equally illogical if analyzed further… What is already telling in such seemingly illogical meanings is that they serve as a blocking point for the human intellect, like a barrier which forces you to recall you already are very tired, and may as well go back to your familiar surroundings instead of continuing this tiresome journey. If you think that the difficulty – which may seem insurmountable – in moving past this barrier is a result of there being nothing else to examine past this point, you are very simply arguing something to the effect that the gorge, the mountain, the dense forest, the sea or any other physical obstacle ahead of you, signifies you have reached some surprisingly close-by land’s end, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Since, however, we have quite abruptly reached this first obstacle while examining the passionately vengeful psychical disposition – and arguably reached such a place without substituting the common path with a deliberately erratic counterpart – we would do well, prior to moving on with our examination of what might lie behind the obstacle which stopped us, to first examine up to the same point the second type of vengeful disposition, which is the calculative one. And provided it is indeed exceeding in calculation the first type, we have no reason to be surprised if it so happens that it takes us a little more time to cover the analogue ground up to the corresponding first obstacle:

    A vengeful individual, who will act in cold-blood and with the help of machination, shall not of course limit himself or herself to merely reciprocating the critical blow. While the end-result is still to deliver that blow, the act is prolonged and – if we may call it that - “enriched” by the extension both in time and in planning needed before the full scheme is unfolded. Furthermore, it is typically the case that vengeful actors of this second type have an added end to meet, which is to avoid being named as the agent of vengeance; unlike with the direct attack the agent of the impulsive vengeance unleashes on the victim, the agent of the calculative vengeance remains typically indirect up to the final moment, so as to negate suspicion – knowing full well that the Law reserves its leniency only for those who act on impulse.
    "
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  2. #2

    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    I like this topic, I have some thoughts on it myself but I'm eager to see your own take on it. Eye for an eye, or is there a greater purpose? Great read, glad I had some free time to drop by the CW section today (sorry AAR peeps haha). I look forward to seeing more...when I have the time that is

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  3. #3
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    Thanks, glad you liked it ^_^
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










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    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    A thought-provoking piece, with some intriguing ideas (such as the one about neutralising the original ill with vengeance.)

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    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    Thank you!
    Is the english not too terrible, then?
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  6. #6
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    You're welcome! Not at all!

  7. #7
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    Οκ...

    Here is a brief next part:


    "
    The first of the differences between the passionate and the calculative agent of vengeance is, of course, the lapse of time between the advent of injury and the final act of reciprocation. While the passionate actor may be forced by external circumstances to spend time brooding over what it is resolved must be done, we may safely infer that in such a case the intermittent time between the resolution and the act – or attempt; in case they fail – adds nothing of substance to the mood or the overall sense of their endeavor: Such individuals do not like waiting, indeed feel that having to wait before they strike down the culprit almost adds further insult to the original injury and moreover are prone to treat the imposed wait as nothing more than an unfortunate evil of their predicament. Since they are resolved to strike simply so as to erase the source of their injury, they feel justified in acting upon the urge and will not consider any finessing of the dreadful emotion which guides them. That emotion is to be unleashed when they exact their revenge, and in their view – supposing they go as far as to regard the matter – the very emotion exists merely as a prompter repeating the lines or melodies of annihilation achieved.
    While the calculated agent of vengeance will also, inevitably, have to wait, it is clear that in their case they would have waited even without external impositions. They would not break through a crowd so as to inflict a stabbing wound on some arrested party – while the passionate avenger would gladly do just that and end his turmoil then and there. Those calculated souls also are filled with brooding sentiment, however in their case it is not understood so much like a strung up prompter, insolently repeating the lines to the actor, but more to be likened to an entire symphony composed on the theme of vengeance. And, much like with any symphony, this too includes preludes, etudes, crescendos, foreboding arpeggios and triumphant marches – the latter is evident when we consider their elaborate plans to avoid suspicion and strike without the risk of apprehension.

    Use of time, therefore, and sense of time, is one of the differences between the two types. A second difference, which indirectly we have already touched upon, is conscious scope of the act; for the calculative shall inevitably intermix the end of satisfying the need to avenge with the necessity of avoiding retribution. There is one more difference, which appears to be of paramount importance, and that is concerned with legacy:
    There really is no aspiration to legacy in the case of the passionate avenger, for in their mind their act speaks for itself – and as we noted, they are of such a view simply because to them their act was nothing more than an enactment of the exhortations working up a mind reduced to a single track. Even if they wanted anything else, they simply have nothing to get after their act was concluded, and are likely to invariably be forever startled, either serving a jail sentence or released back to polite society. There is a question surrounding them, but it cannot be answered or even be formulated distinctly; it is as if questions shun them forevermore, because they committed the dreadful crime of acting upon an order without question. The case differs significantly when we examine a person who carefully plans out the reciprocation for the original injury:
    It is always more pleasant to be staying in a room, however confined it may be, than wander in vast marshland. Yet the calculative disposition of someone who at the same time is able to act violently does appear to me to share elements with the swamp-ling and the vagabond; some drifter who had been in such a state much prior to the injustice done to them, who will now take full advantage of their unusual state of mobility and relative self-reliance so as to focus intensely on anything to do with the cruel retribution at hand. Perhaps the metaphor can illuminate such a person’s advantages sufficiently, if we accept that there is always more room to relocate to if you are a drifter, and thus you certainly will not be forced to stay put when the grotesque idol of rage is brought center-stage. You will opt to reposition yourself a bit further down the wilderness, and from there even so pitiful and horrifying a sigh may become more manageable. Your less fortunate, in this respect, cousin, the passionate agent of vengeance, is stuck with the horrible idol in front of him, and perhaps it is fair to claim that his actions will now be more focused on getting rid of the apparition than actually react to past ills and their instigator. Yet, you see, herein lies the reason why both the instinctive, the hurried and frenzied actor, as well as the composed and calculative one, are to remain equally unaware of the deeper meaning of vengeance: while the passion prevents the one from examining what horror lies in front, touching upon his very face, idiosyncratic coldness and chronic mobility when opposed with menaces of intensity shall drive the other away as well; the difference between the two here merely being in relation to how they avoided a closer look. And this idol we have now described, the one forged from spiteful passion, is seemingly covered with glyphs both incomprehensible and instantaneously empowered to instill in us a sense of inescapable duty to act upon our dread and disgust. Only when we do act, we do so in quite another realm: we strike outside, against a person or persons, while the intent was always to rid ourselves from the presence of an internal foe. This, precisely, is how the sense we are neutralizing the actual source of pain and anxiety is at the same time real and mistaken: for we strike not the idol – which in us is real – but what the idol itself professes (oozing this revelation through its frightful image and hypnotizing graphemes) to be in indissoluble allegiance to...



    "
    Last edited by Kyriakos; November 02, 2019 at 04:58 PM.
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  8. #8
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    I agree with Alwyn, it's a very thought-provoking piece of writing, very intruiging to delve into. Often I will try to find the real meaning of certain things humans do, usually introspective. It's very interesting and educational I find. I'll be following this piece of writing with excitement.

    You should not be concerned about your English. It's very good, you convey your message very clearly even when using complex sentences.
    The Writers' Study Yearly Awards 2018-2019!

  9. #9
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: The start of a short story (on Vengeance)

    Thank you, guys.
    Well, up to now I never had any luck with english-language magazines. Or english anything, tbh
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










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