Possession

At the college level, at least, an instructor/professor should teach in a manner that interests him/her, thereby revealing a genuine excitement that may entice that fabled one or two student(s) whom we are told to inspire.

Teaching literature/composition in Mississippi: there are few more fruitless endeavors in the history of mankind, save trying to keep neocons honest about war and prompting minorities to be open about their desire for power and encouraging body-positive feminists to lose weight. (Hot damn–I have been apolitical on my blog for far too long! For my new readers, you may thing that I am a romantic wreck. Nah–I am merely a moody asshole who likes words, a more verbose Heathcliff.)

Whenever I discuss Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” I pair that lesson with a reading from madman D. H. Lawrence’s Studies in Classic American Literature:

The lust of hate is the inordinate desire to consume and unspeakably possess the soul of the hated one, just as the lust of love is the desire to possess, or to be possessed by, the beloved, utterly. But in either case the result is the dissolution of both souls, each losing itself in transgressing its own bounds. 

Montresor became possessed, through hatred, by Fortunato and his unspecified insults. The end result (apart from an act of murder by entombment) strongly resembles that of love: the objectified person is continuously on one’s mind, and one finds himself/herself making choices–for life or for death–based upon another. Thus, I warn my students to not only be careful of whom they love but to take care of whom they hate.

The opposite of love is not hatred. No, the opposite of love is indifference. I would much rather be hated, for example, by an ex-lover than forgotten and ignored.

 

About Bourbon Apocalypse: A Whiskey Son of Sorrow

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing." ~ Kingsley Amis
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