By Jacky Bowring

A depressive affliction or a passing feeling? psychological detachment or a precursor to genius? depression is a serious a part of what it really is to be human, but every thing from Prozac to self-help psychology books turns out cause on elimination all indicators of disappointment from modern life. A box advisor to depression surveys this ambivalent thought and takes a trip in the course of the articulation of depression in a number of 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 lifestyle. This consultant unearths depression in the paintings of writers equivalent to 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 track 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

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22. 95. 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.

Like many subcultures, their fashions, hairstyles and music reflect their preoccupations and, for Emos, this is the fetishisation of depression, sadness, and detachment. The subculture of the Emo is reminiscent of the affectation of melancholy around the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, where it was seen as a desirable state because of its association with genius, as with Ben Jonson’s ‘Mr Stephen’ encountered in Chapter 1. And, like the cult of ‘heroin chic’ where followers aspired to a condition which suggests unwellness, the Emo seeks to display the signs of melancholia’s darkness, sometimes to the extent of self-disfigurement through the cutting of skin.

The phlegmatic is considered to have a deficiency of finer sensation and a comparative apathy, and is dismissed as having no place in 44 A FIELD GUIDE TO MELANCHOLY his study of aesthetics. The choleric, too, does not have a deep appreciation of aesthetics, tending to overemphasise the moral consequences of a fine feeling, but only at the level of the gloss. More in keeping with the idea of the beautiful is the character of the sanguine, who is not onedimensional in his or her aesthetic appreciation, but is sensitive to the varied circumstances.

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