The energy of dislike

As a writer it is your privilege to privately write whatsoever you wish about whomsoever you choose. You can write bad things happening to bad people. And in doing so, know you are in fine company.

Lucian of Samosata wrote satire, his work often targeting public figures. In the quote below, taken from The Passing of Peregrinus, Lucian recounts his version of the life and death of the cynic Peregrinus Proteus (100-165CE). Lucian witnessed the suicide of Peregrinus when he set fire to himself at the 165CE Olympics.

Thereafter he went away a third time, to Egypt, to visit Agathobulus, where he took that wonderful course of training in asceticism, shaving one half of his head, daubing his face with mud, and demonstrating what they call ‘indifference’ by erecting his yard amid a thronging mob of bystanders, besides giving and, taking blows on the back-sides with a stalk of fennel, and playing the mountebank even more audaciously in many other ways.

If you feel blocked in your writing take these words as permission to privately write all the things you think you ought not.

Write your foe into the town-square with a shaved head and dirty face. Write them ‘erecting their yard’ in public. Write them taking blows from vegetables. Expose them as the fraud you know them to be.

Rebel. Be bold. Write what hurts so that you may write free.


5 thoughts on “The energy of dislike”

  1. So many people and events to dislike in politics right now, I don’t know where to start! In all seriousness, I’ve shied away from writing about these things; too big, too hard, too hopeless for one so small as me. I guess I’m afraid of what might be unleashed. But then, as you rightly say, that’s the whole point. Perhaps my anger and frustration at what’s going on the world is a proxy for things I need to deal woth in myself. Very thought-provoking: thank you. Nick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do not have to share all our written words with others. I mean, publishing is different to writing. Sometimes, privately writing the things we don’t let ourselves say can help us with other, more public, writing. Whatever you unleash will make you stronger. Be brave with your pen.


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