Sunday, August 24, 2008

Melancholy for a Loss of Melancholy?

The premise of the article is interesting, albeit a tad dated. Still, an ok read. A bit says:
"I for one am afraid that American culture's overemphasis on happiness at the expense of sadness might be dangerous, a wanton forgetting of an essential part of a full life. I further am concerned that to desire only happiness in a world undoubtedly tragic is to become inauthentic, to settle for unrealistic abstractions that ignore concrete situations. I am finally fearful of our society's efforts to expunge melancholia. Without the agitations of the soul, would all of our magnificently yearning towers topple? Would our heart-torn symphonies cease?"

But there is brilliantly written paragraph in this article and, per me, it would have to be this:

"Keats understood that suffering and death are not aberrations to be cursed but necessary parts of a capacious existence, a personal history attuned to the plentiful polarity of the cosmos. To deny death and calamity would be to live only a partial life, one devoid of creativity and beauty. Keats welcomed his death so that he could live."
Read it all here.

6 comments:

Mary said...

Thank heavens for the 'down' times. Sans those I can't create anything so I'd align myself with the author's premise, sure.

Mary said...

ps
More specifically, and at the risk of sounding like a masochist to some, I look forward to sad times as well as a good cry. It's only during those times that I feel like I'm being productive and just plain true to my art [and self]. Plus, I'm so much happier when I'm "in" a happy moment.

Nicki said...

Keats said it best. And I know better than to disagree with him.

dave said...

a lot of the best art is created when under the influence of strong impulse, however, I'm assuming that feeling 'even' could also be [and is!] conducive to good productivity.

Will said...

I feel I do better work when I "...deny death and calamity ... to live only a partial life, one devoid of creativity and beauty."
I'd rather create mediocre work, I guess, plus I never wanted to give Michelangelo a run for his proverbial money.

jane said...

bri, i dig the blog title! apropos, apropos!!