Invective

“When one inveighs against someone, it must be done in an infinitely subtle manner, and its meaning must remain implicit.  The other should not at first notice that he is being insulted; only ofter a certain amount of reflection should he progressively realize that these words were not well intentioned, in such a way that his face, which was at first smiling, goes from white to red, and from red to purple, and then from purple to gray.  This is the highest level of the art of invective…

Avoid day-to-day language because it is exhausted quickly.  It is no match for literary language, whose indirect nature is rich in implicit meaning.”

-Liang Shiqiu – “Strike from the Side and Attack Obliquely” (from François Jullien, Detour and Access – Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece)

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