By Jacky Bowring
A depressive disorder or a passing feeling? psychological detachment or a precursor to genius? depression is a severe a part of what it really is to be human, but every thing from Prozac to self-help psychology books turns out purpose on removal all symptoms of unhappiness from modern lifestyles. A box advisor to depression surveys this ambivalent thought and takes a trip in the course of the articulation of depression in quite a few languages, from the Russian toska of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin to kaiho—which is expressed within the dancing of the Finnish tango. depression is located within the historical traditions of death’s presence in paradise, the tears of nature, in addition to nostalgia, pathos, and melancholy’s presiding god, Saturn. In modern society, depression turns into a way assertion within the emo tradition. This advisor unearths depression in the paintings of writers reminiscent of W. G. Sebald and Jean-Paul Sartre, the paintings of photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto and multi-media artist Gerhard Richter, the flicks of Andrei Tarkovsky and Patrick Keiller, the song of Erik Satie and Tom Waits, the structure and landscapes of ruins, and the twenty first century’s predilection for memorials.
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Extra resources for A Field Guide to Melancholy
23. 278. 24. 104. 25. 13. 26. 25. 27. 42-43. 28. 106. 98. 30. 60. 111. 32. ibid. 33. See for example John F McDermott, Emily Dickinson Revisited:A Study of Periodicity in Her Work. 34. 4. 35. 9. 36. 226. 37. 32. 38. See Immanuel Kant, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime. 39. 63-64. 40. 168. 41. Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgment (trans. John T. 162. 117. 42. 166. 43. 16-23. 44. 131-132. 45. 41. 46. 61. 47. 11-12. The Hunt for Melancholy Laurence Aberhart, Oamaru, Otago, 18 April 1999 2 The Hunt for Melancholy I know why I am sad, but I do not know why I am melancholy.
The aesthetic debates became further complicated by the arrival of a third speciﬁc category: the Picturesque. Ongoing deﬁnitions of this category were increasingly focused on the landscape, in terms of both its design and appreciation. Picturesque theory is a richly complex topic but, in very general terms, it is based upon the idea of ﬁnding a speciﬁc kind of beauty deﬁned in pictures – notably those by seventeenth-century artists Claude Lorrain, Salvator Rosa and Nicholas Poussin. These works captured scenes of landscapes worked over by history, and steeped in culture, thereby setting up a desire for elements like ruins, signs of the sublimity of nature’s wrath such as dead trees, and a pastoral aesthetic of open park-like landscapes.
In their extensive survey, Born Under Saturn, the Wittkowers note that the idea of the melancholic artist goes out of fashion between the seventeenth century and sometime around the work of Caspar David Friedrich, in the early nineteenth century. 28 The association with exceptional intellectual ability was again a signiﬁcant thread of Romanticism, and the ﬂowering of poetry during this time was steeped in melancholy. The Romantic poets and painters were characterised by moods and demeanours that were described as melancholy or depressive, conditions which were considered generators of artistic impulse.