Notes on Melancholy, part 4

In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful? Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful – First Snow  by Louise Glück  Like a child, the earth’s going to…

Notes on Melancholy, part 3

Each night about this time he puts on sadness like a garment and goes on writing. from Anne Carson: “Short Talk On Ovid” (1992)

Notes on Melancholy, part 2

  from A Field Guide to Melancholy  … melancholy & genius: Aristotle: ‘Why is it that all those who have become eminent in philosophy or politics or poetry or the arts are clearly melancholics, and some of them to the extent as to be affected by diseases caused by black bile?’ Moyra Davey

September Nocturne

Entering fall. Still bright and sunny days ahead of us. But if you listen, if you let the world touch your skin, you will notice there is also melancholy in the air. Darkness approaching. Charlottesville Nocturne The late September night is a train of thought, a wound That doesn’t bleed, dead grass that’s still green, No…

How come blue is the color of melancholy?

 Today my study of Bluets has led me home – Edvard Munch, Melankoli (Melancholy), oil on canvas, 1892 © National Gallery, Oslo As with many of Edvard Munch‘s works, “Melancholy” appears in several different versions and techniques. (His repeated use of the same concepts has made it difficult to identify some works due to the lack of…

Meandering Narratives

I call his books novels, partly, I think, because I want to claim him for fiction, and partly because that seems the most inclusive term for their mélange of fictionalized memoir, travel journals, inventories of natural and man-made curiosities, impressionistic musings on painting, entomology, architecture, military fortifications, riffs on the lives of Kafka, Stendhal, Casanova,…