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it is not so much that hell is other people. it's that other people have so formed your idea of hell that some of them slip into it. hell needs a cast of characters. or does it? alone in hell with your pain forever, and the fire and gnashing of - what else? - teeth! (the gnashing of gums doesn't really cause me to rend my garment). but you're only alone in a relative sense. someone has to know you're in hell, and that's why we have the rest of us. someone had to come up with this horrid, scary and cartoonish scenario... but who? other people. other people have provided you with this thought of hell, and then put you in it. you are there, as opposed to them (heaven, of course, is the inverse of this overpopulated cosmopoly: the others are there because you are not.)

what do the other people want with you? i only understand a bit of it, but it seems that they either want to have sex with you, or they want to use you as a psychological springboard to make them feel better - and here we again see that relativity cropping up - about themselves. (there are aberrations - in some cases they simply want to eat you, or use your skin to patch that pesky part of the yurt where the wind whips in - but we'll get back to these in chapter 7, "naked honesty").

what we can be sure of, and it is perhaps the only thing we can be sure of in this uncertain world (which is an illusion, see chapter 4, "life is an illusion"), is that the other people are you. and so we must watch what we say because we don't want to step on too many toes. the other people are a bit snippy about that, as they are about a number of things that the "I", meaning me, would find to be what the brits call "not on". unfortunately, the brits as a group fall into the "other people" category. but belonging is false; it is the domain of others.

you (and i am using the editorial "you" here, meaning me) are soveriegn unto ourselves. or self, as it were. life is fleet-footed and dumb as a gazelle with a dart in its hindquarters: all of life occurs in the ten seconds between the dart hitting the muscle in the arc of her final leap and the creature slowing, stopping and tipping over. enter the lioness and her famished pups.

please flip to the workbook section and, in the time allotted, write an essay in 400 pages or less explaining why you are a: going to die, with nothing, and for no good reason that you can think of; and b: why you think the proctor is still watching you. (william t. vollman, having filled out form 266b, may write 4000 pages on this same topic). you may begin now.

or later. or tomorrow or next april; it hardly matters. see chaper 7


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The following comments are for "hell 101"
by mercer102

Is this a Joke?
I really can't tell!

1) As your reader, if it is any chapter but the first, you need to say so. Otherwise, you have no framework from which your reader may intelligently know where your are coming from. Since you refer several times to other works by chapter reference or other books, which you obviously intend the reader to relate to, you fail to capture any argument realistically. Since you don't give the reader a full spectrum of rationale, it's difficult to read and appreciate.

2) I know I'm not coming from wherever you are, but from my vantage point, I know that hell is not any other person. I know this because I believe the bible is the inspired Word of the Highest Power there is anywhere, as it was recorded before most other histories of the world, and carried down through ancestory by those who dared to know that power.

3) Since that One claims to have (which I believe, and find science documenting daily) created all that is, both in heaven and earth, I have to assume that One knows how things work - or doesn't work, as the case may be. It is clearly recorded in the earliest human documents that that Highest One said there is as real a hell as there is an earth, so I have to assume He knows what He's talking about! If you still want to know where He says that is, it's written about in the last chapter of Isaiah in the bible. That's the earliest recorded documentation of any peoples on the earth.

4) You have written partial thoughts and the presentation lacks clarity. In flip-flopping your ideas presented first one way and then, just as absolutely, the other way, you make people wonder if you're serious or not. Honestly.

5) If every paragraph has to be filled with "()" thoughts, you need to redesign the sentence to convey one specific thought. If you are now including two thoughts together, perhaps you need to just separate the thoughts into two sentences.

Hope this helps you make your presentations clearer.

( Posted by: MaxiiJ [Member] On: April 30, 2004 )

hell 101
dearest Maxii,
i was astonished that you spent so much time and effort over my tiny offering, and so i feel a wee bit awkward (the etymology of which is a puzzle, but it is generally accepted that the word refers to the awk, a large indonesian encephalopod with two left feet and soft droopy ears) when i tell you that yes, of course it's a joke! it is perhaps oxymoronically (or maybe just moronically) a serious self-accusation that i do not have a serious bone in my body, except for my patellae, who do nothing but grumble. as far as my overuse of "()" (which i find vaguely erotic), you will no doubt cringe when you read chaper 6, comprised entirely of brackets and footnotes.

dear claire,
you are a peach in the arbor of literary criticism. if i could find an intact garment in my wardrobe, i would rend it in delight. peace out.

( Posted by: mercer102 [Member] On: May 1, 2004 )

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