Best Served Cold: Studies in Revenge

Edited by Sheila C. Bibb & Daniel Escandell Montiel
ISBN: 978-1-84888-043-6
File type: eBook: pdf

This volume is based on a collection of papers that were presented at Inter-Disciplinary.Net’s 1st Global Conference on Revenge. The project seeks to explore various aspects of the nature of Persons and their experiences and in this instance focuses on concepts and applications of revenge.


Revenge as a concept evokes many differing responses and has been the subject of much debate. One of the chief areas of disagreement lies in deciding what constitutes revenge, what constitutes justice and what determines the line between the two. While cultural beliefs and traditions may play a large part in determining this, it becomes clear in this volume that there are often other factors at play as well. Additionally, the ways in which revenge may manifest itself are also many and varied. Whether it is through the manipulation of events in order to humiliate and shame the person believed to have in some way wronged another, or the use of Art to publicly and collectively re-educate a segment of society, the prime concern of the person seeking revenge is often thought to be a need to vent their own feelings and so maintain their honour and social standing. However, this is not always the motive and to think of revenge only in these terms is both limiting and inaccurate. Not only does it affect the way we think about revenge and our response to it, but it also prevents us from recognizing some of the many guises which revenge may adopt. An open and questioning approach allows us to consider notions, constructions and arguments which are not at first obvious. It also allows us to weigh these alternatives in a cross-cultural setting. Diversity is, therefore, a major factor in this volume, both in terms of the subject matter covered and in the regions and disciplines represented.

Table of Contents

Sheila C. Bibb & Daniel Escandell Montiel

PART I: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
Aristotle on the Purpose of Revenge
Krissana M. Scheiter

Dead before Breakfast: The English Gentleman and Honour Affronted
Stephen Banks

The Anthropology of Revenge, Ancestral Wrath: A Modern Day Dilemma?
Sheila C. Bibb

‘If you don’t come to me, I’ll come to you’: Primal Injury and Revenge in the Ghost Stories of M.R. James
Terry Scarborough

PART II: Literature and Poe-Tic Revenge
The Mixed-Blood Settles Scores: The Question of Racial Justice in Georges by Alexandre Dumas
Claudie Bernard

Analysing Darker Motives of Delving Robert Browning’s ‘Poetry of Revenge’
Paula Guimarães

The Servant as an Agent of Retributive and Restorative Justice in Wuthering Heights
Esra Melikoğlu

A Self-Destructive Path to Dead End: An Exploration on Revenge in Wuthering Heights
Kuo-Ping Claudia Tai

Montresor and Hop-Frog Strike Back: Poe’s Never-Ending Poetics of Revenge
Marta Miquel-Baldellou

PART III: Revenge in the Arts and around the Globe
The Involuntary Casualties of Revenge in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Revengers’ Comedies
Iwona Bojarska

Revenge, American Cinema, and Framing the Decade of the 1970s
William Gombash, III

Maternal Revenge and Redemption in Postfeminist Rape-Revenge Cinema
Claire Henry

Revenge as Cultural Catharsis in Moya Henderson’s Opera Lindy
Timothy McKenry

PART IV: Various Perspectives on Revenge
The Writer Seeking Vengeance: Blognovelism and Its Relationship with Literary Critics
Daniel Escandell Montiel

Treatment of Vengeance in Ferdowsi’s The Shahnameh: Book of Kings
Leyli Jamali

Unlikely Heroines: Self-Destructive Sexuality and Narrative Identity-Building in the Fiction of Joyce Carol Oates
Jenaeth Markaj

Experiences of Revenge as Reflected in the Contemporary Pashto Short Story
Anders Widmark

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About the Author(s)/Editor(s)
Sheila C Bibb, MPhil (Oxon) in Medical Anthropology, teaches Anthropology at Brigham Young University, Utah. Her current research includes projects based in South Africa, Utah, Tonga, and the United Kingdom and all reflect her interests in topics such as Boundaries, Identity, Global Flows, and Belief Systems.

Daniel Escandell Montiel is a Spanish teacher and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Salamanca. He is currently conducting research on digital narrative and blognovelism in the Spanish literature. He is also a published playwright.

Key Words
revenge, purpose of revenge, Aristotle, The English Gentleman, ancestral wrath, M. R. James, literature of revenge

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