“Life and temporality are indispensably attached to the inevitability of death. Is ‘living’ a fight against inevitability?”
[DISCLAIMER: Your life may never be the same again! Welcome to the Nowhere Land!]
“Embark upon a contemplative journey of self-discovering along with the protagonist.”
“A stimulating existentialist novella!” – The story encompasses an existentialist’s perspective with the protagonist exploring various elements of existentialism including alienation, freedom, death, hope and despair. The protagonist, Murk Zilch, living an isolated life amongst the mountains undergoes a metamorphosis after the ‘tragic’ death of his little brother. Through the impactful events of the past and his understanding of life, he discovers the essence by deriving meaning in the nothingness of the world. It acknowledges the absurdity that lay within the foundation of our existence and aims to form out its own subjective essence, thereby defining its individuality. It attempts to provide its readers with an optimistic perspective towards life by shedding materialism and their preconceptions of reality in order to elevate them from the mode of denial to accept the absurdity of our existence while forming their own essence.
The quintessential aspect of the story is that in its entirety it provokes readers to contemplate along with the protagonist over the temporality of existence and the inevitability of death. The book is a perfect starting point for anyone who is interested in existentialism as it encourages the readers into a habit of questioning which is incidentally the point of inception of existentialism. It incorporates Socrates’ method of dialectics as a mode of self-interrogation through monologues, allowing readers to question the genesis of the subject itself.
Fewer amongst a few out there. A contrast to a simple and daily read. A companion for life. Thought-provoking. Attempts to elevating the readers from the grasp of despair towards a path of enlightenment. Provide a different and yet intriguing way of living.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have written a fictional piece of work as Novella titled, “Memoir: The Cathartic Night (Contemplating Temporality to Inevitability)”. It is an existentialist read which aims to embark its readers onto a contemplative journey of self-discovering. I was influenced by Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis to write a Novella conceptualizing my thinking in consonance with existentialism. It upfront deals with the absurdity that is aligned with our existence as meaninglessness in the world of nothingness.
It was the night of 31st May. I usually write a brief about my thoughts, which intrigue me before going to sleep. I have a habit of contemplating various aspects of my life, my past and about all that circumambient me. When I am alone with my thoughts, they tend to surface at the consciousness in the most unexpected times. That night was no different. As I was staring the ceiling in the dark, a thought emerged to the surface, “life and temporality are indispensably attached to the inevitability of death. Is ‘living’ a fight against inevitability?” I don’t know the actual source from where the thought may have arisen, but it may be an outcome of the current events of my life. I am living with my grandfather, who is at a critical age of 92. During the worldwide outburst of Covid-19, his health has been constantly deteriorating with no particular anatomical reason. I have never consciously realized the impact of his absence in my life, but it seems to grab my unconscious self.
On the next day, the beginning of a new month, I sat before my laptop and start writing whatever came to my mind. I never thought I’ll be able to form a Novella out of it. I have noticed one thing about myself, I feel my mind empty when I sit by myself, all alone with nothing to do. But when I keep my fingers onto the keypad, the stream of consciousness starts forming itself as words.
That’s how Memoir: The Cathartic Night came into being from my stream of consciousness.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I developed the characters through an intriguing way of relatability. The development of the story was more of an extempore nature and so was the portrayal of characters. Every major character of the storyline possesses a particular set of characteristics which are mirror projections of the people around us. The protagonist of the Novella, Murk Zilch, has an interesting psychological personality. It is a naked projection of the 'self-contradictory' anima that everyone possesses on some level. The story aims to reveal the basic human nature and instincts which everyone realises but are afraid to admit and hence allow them to be suppressed under the garb of persona. In its entirety, the characters are a mixture of my imagination and some relatable aspects of people around me. It is basically a portrayal of my contemplation and observation extended by the imagination aligned to that which exists.
Life and temporality are indispensably attached to the inevitability of death. Is 'living' a fight against inevitability? He pondered delving deep within himself as he chugged his glass emptying half of the bottle of Scotch whiskey, sitting at the backyard of his log cabin facing the dense forest. There was absolute silence as he gathered his senses to focus on the sound of rushing water sliding down the mountain just a few miles away. The silence reflected back to him as a realization that in the deepest of silence, he as all is alone. Nevertheless, he found strength in his vulnerability; a sense of freedom in loneliness which happened to be the sole cause of his grin. It was a full moon night and Murk just came back from the funeral of his little brother, who ‘tragically’ died in a car accident near town. It was ‘tragic’ for him in its own subjectivity. Kurt, as his brother never hid anything from him and shared his deepest of desires including the continuous despair he felt in everydayness. He despised his monotonous life revolving around sustainability especially the work he ought to do as an accountant of a private insurance company. Murk remembered his last conversation with Kurt when he decided to quit the job and travel across the globe to explore and rediscover himself. It was a week before the accident which somehow transfixed Murk to oblivion. He couldn’t recollect his thoughts over the bleak nature of human existence. He found himself in a conundrum as he searched within every inch of self but failed to find any aspect of grief attached to the loss of his little brother. He was detested by himself for acting so indifferent but it wasn’t the act in itself rather the emotions attached to the bond of brotherhood that lost its course.
Murk poured another glass of liquor and went inside to fetch his cigarettes from the kitchen cabinet. He came back to his spot and realized that it was getting cold as the mist blurred the forest, darkening the night. He instantaneously put on the fire, at a place he reserved in the backyard for similar occasions. He observed the slow-burning of the wood and its sound of crackling as he stared into the flames, mesmerized by the fire and unaware of the surrounding. Something was intriguing about the flames, intense and ferocious while simultaneously soothing and emancipating. As the wood turned into ashes, he collated it to an act of recreation or rebirth rather than as an act of destruction, transfiguring into an invisible subject of life analogous to the existence of the God. After a brief moment of unconscious exploration of the consciousness, he sat down near the fire and lit a cigarette while gulping down the whisky. He was unable to point source the reason for his unusual inclination of observing intricate details which earlier seemed as insignificant aspects of living. “Is it the liquor or is it me?”, he asked himself while lighting another cigarette out of the box. After the accident, Murk hardly slept, ate or worked. He spends his days aloof inside his cabin, living a thoughtless life of nothingness as the days passed. He had himself designed the log cabin which was erected in a few months with the aid of some of the locals. It was more like a small cottage which was apt for a one-person stay. It had a cosy look to it with one bedroom and attached bathroom, a kitchen and a small adjacent living room which was at the entrance parallel to the kitchen. He also managed to fence a backyard annexed to the cabin which was where he spent most of his time either reading or observing the valley view alongside the forest. Until this night he was in a complete state of denial to which he never abled to find a reason. The denial of anything impactful happened in his life to which he was a part of since long. It was the night prior to 29th November, the day Kurt was born. Also, the day he decided to quit the job and start afresh, metaphorically to be reborn and to live the remainder of his life in his own terms. Murk acknowledging his brother’s will and realizing its futility sat in the dark wishing nothing but to reap wisdom. He poured another glass of liquor and said to himself in emancipation, “what all I see is all that is; that exist”.
Murk usually slept around 11 o’clock and was quite punctual regarding his night time, more so regarding his entire routine. He never liked if due to anyone he had to change his routine even a bit. As for others, he was a rigid, principled and a self-engrossed individual who hides his selfishness by being an introvert. This was the principal reason for his loneliness and of the fact that he lived in a cabin all by himself outside the city and in isolation amongst nature. He worked in the garage which his father, David left for him just outside the town. It was a small place of business usually empty and without customers. It was more kind of seasonal business as only in Spring and Autumn the town in its blissfulness and misery was flooded with tourists and visitors waking the town from deep sleep into a state of trance and chaos. In such small towns encircled by forests and mountains away from the city lights, one often easily able to comprehend the nakedness of duality in every existing aspect around him. Nothing exists in isolation without its counterpart; the opposite. Individuality cannot be expressed in consonance with the totality of freedom as ultimate freedom exists only in the inevitability of death and as for living, we all are bound to aspects of causality.
The element of duality gives birth to ‘contradiction’. Every individual has some element of self-contradiction embedded within, Murk was too a self-contradictory person having to portray as an introvert, whereby yearn for actual authentic connection. He used to believe that everything has a reason attached to its inception by virtue of the choices we make. The choices indeed materialize the reasons. The reason being the ‘cause’ and every cause conceptualizes an ‘effect’ at its core thereby identifying itself under the principle of causality. After the incident, Murk was not able to grasp the actuality of his understanding of life and its existence. Kurt had a chance to reinvent his life and he even decided to act upon it, but the accident washed out his future leaving behind Murk in a state of an utter dilemma along with an existence full of questions and ‘maybes’ which was earlier still and clear by virtue of self-proclaimed answers.
“Maybe there exists an inherent contradiction in our desires. Maybe this is the reason why we never feel contentment even after the fulfilment of our desires. Maybe we desire actually of a ‘continuous desire’ or persistence of a desire and not its ‘fulfilment’ as such.” Murk was zoning out while these thoughts reverberated in his mind and the lighted cigarette burned his finger as he came into senses. The fire burnt out and a cool breeze shook him up from his reverie. He was loosely holding the empty glass in his left hand, dozing off the chair as he looked up to have a glimpse of the full moon. With burned out fire and a clear sky, he saw the polar lights as the aurora formed perfectly above him covering the widest area of the sky. The unbridled charismatic view brought materialism to the ground highlighting ‘absurdity’ in the nothingness of everyday existence of human beings. Murk simply saw the transfiguring sky with his eyes wide open, trying to feel every inch of his existence with respect to the cosmic arrangement of the universe. He momentarily lost the sense of ‘self’ confined within the physical body as he felt elevated from the surface and as a part of the cosmos, observing the surface of the earth non-perspectively, without any opinion or judgment; shedding subjectivity and embracing objectivity through the act of appreciation. Being “subjectively objective” is to encompass every subjective perspective by appreciation, making oneself unique within the opinionated crowd. Both elements of subjectivity and objectivity must be incorporated in consonance with each other as no objectivity can be comprehended by our subjective ways of being. Objectivity lies in the realization of the existence of subjective realities. The only reality is that there exists multiple realities having their inception as our consciousness which is the sole commonality.
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A Final Year Graduate, National Law University Odisha. Planning to pursue MSc. Psychology (Conversion). Inclined towards Freudian Psychoanalysis, interested in Metaphysics. Currently exploring Existentialism. Prominent figures of inspiration are Jiddu Krishnamurti, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Authored an article titled “A Study Of Criminal Behaviour (Causality & Prevention of Crime)” published in the International Journal of Advanced Research (IJAR).
An Ardent Admirer of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Nirvana & alt-J.
"Memoir: The Cathartic Night (Contemplating Temporality to Inevitability)" is his debut Novella.