“What can’t be cured…

…must be endured,” said Robert Burton about melancholy, back in 1620. It’s considerate and a bit ironic that he should offer such a pithy description for the plight of melancholics and depressives, given that he literally wrote the book on the subject of enduring it, and in a new edition that book is a mereContinue reading ““What can’t be cured…”

The Wisdom of Melancholy: Alain de Botton

In 21st century America, melancholy seems passe, dated, all but forgotten. It's something that happens to people in Chekhov plays, or other countries. Everyone knows about depression, by contrast, and ten percent of Americans are taking anti-depressants, according to one study, and one in four middle-aged women.  “It’s not only that physicians are prescribing more,Continue reading “The Wisdom of Melancholy: Alain de Botton”

Mr. Melancholy (Americana edition)

While I’m still struggling with jetlag, excuse me for some more non-wonky less-enviro posts…here’s an etching by perhaps the greatest American artist of melancholy, Edward Hopper. And here’s what I learned about melancholy while on vacation in Turkey. For the Turks, melancholy is a collective phenomenon that they call huzun. Orham Pamek, in his greatContinue reading “Mr. Melancholy (Americana edition)”