Tuesday, May 5, 2009

FGtM in Emotion, Space and Society

"Ambiguous and ambivalent in shared measures, melancholy is a disarming emotion. Conceptually exposed to multiple interpretations, it nevertheless has a distinguished history, from Durer’s celebrated ‘‘Melencolia I’’ to the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, which attests to its close relation to the genesis of art. Thanks to this relation, melancholy delivers itself from the inertia of depression and establishes a culture in its own right. Alongside this enigmatic history as a muse to artists, however, the medical history of melancholy means that it sits somewhat uncomfortably beside its aesthetic dynamics: is melancholy an aestheticised mode of depression? If so, does this degenerate either melancholy as a mode of affection, or, aesthetics as a branch of melancholy?"
A Field Guide to Melancholy, Review by Dylan J Trigg

Full text available at Emotion, Space and Society, Elsevier (requires subscription)

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