Mailing Versus Blackmailing

Katalin Kállay G.
2002 Anachronist  
What happens when one has to realise that something has been stolen from him or her in such a cunning manner that (s)he is incapable of doing anything against the act of purloining? The victim first becomes embarrassed, then irritated, maybe enraged, and (s)he, of course, will desperately want to get it back. In case the victim is equipped with the necessary courage and cunning (s)he might want to steal it back, exactly in the astonishing manner of the thief. A reader, a man or woman of letters
more » ... might become the victim of such a process when reading "The Purloined Letter," 1 the literary example of a case described above. The thing so stolen is no less than the reader's trust in a "story proper," in a "manifold message," and thus in the possibility of the nondescript and vulnerable notion of cath,mzs. If one is not content with any of the various replacements, after becoming embarrassed and irritated (s)he will try to do whatever is intellectually possible in order to get it back. For this purpose, an extraordinary amount of courage and cunning is needed, since the thief is the author himself, who seems to take delight in confronting his reader with an emptiness in the heart of his story. And the act of purloining is so perfect that the emptiness might demonstrate to the victim that the thing stolen has never been in his or her possession, which is still not a proof of the fact that it does not exist. 1 All quotations from and references to the text are based on the following edition: Thomas Olive Mabbot, ed.,
doi:10.53720/jptj8000 fatcat:gag24fhr2faknbc54o5th346ay