When Words Failed...


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Image Credits: Sander Dewerte

“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.” ― Eugene Victor Debs

There's a difficulty in verbalizing trauma: "While I had many things to say, I did not have the words to say them,” lamented Elie Wiesel.

When the worldview collapsed, when words failed, when the dictionary meanings of the words have been perverted by the enemy, the person's eyes will turn blank. The person's eyes will stare into the space; while the burdened heart aches for a new language altogether...

After ten years of silence, Elie Wiesel wrote his first book, Night. Elie Wiesel's memoir, Night, is a slim book of, according to the New York Times, "terrifying power."

Night is Elie Wiesel's "creative core," and its pages "radiated outward like tree rings" in his future writing. I remember hearing him say that one has to read Night in order to understand his other 56 books. Otherwise, the author warns his readers that his other books will not make much sense to the reader.


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Image Credits: Tim Hüfner

The enemy kept the Holocaust story a state secret: Wiesel is trying his best to explain the horror of the Holocaust but no other human can understand its horror other than those who experienced it as others don't have the same images in their heads. "The Holocaust’s truth," rightly articulated by someone, "lies beyond language, a reality accessed only through direct, first-hand experience." Those who haven't lived the event will never know it, and those who lived the event will not reveal it, "not really, not entirely."

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.” ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

“Painfully aware of my limitations, I watched helplessly as language became an obstacle," the late author lamented, "It became clear that it would be necessary to invent a new language." Continuing, "But how was one to rehabilitate and transform words betrayed and perverted by the enemy?”

While he had many things to say, he didn't have the words to say them. He says that he wrote Night for himself and for other survivors, as opposed to writing it for selling it. It's his masterpiece. "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim," Elie Wiesel advised the earthlings, "Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."


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Image Credits: Senjuti Kundu

If you can ― in the words of George Orwell ― feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them.

Previous Posts:

When Conmen Marry...
Reminiscing On The Way...
Singularity A Big Idea
Heraclitus: You Can't Step Into The Same River Twice, Can You?
Mimetic Theory: Is This The Best Way To Understand The World?
Absolutism Vs. Relativism, Which Side Are You On?

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