Melancholia.

I received a phone call this morning from a friend inviting me to go out for lunch with him. I excused myself giving some innocuous excuses but, he kept trying to persuade me to accompany him. Finally, he gave up and asked me why I was being so unusually melancholic today. I responded that I did not think I was being melancholic but, just lazy.

He went off alone and I was left wondering about his comment on my being melancholic. I had not heard the term used by anyone in a long long time but, remembered a few things which came to my mind that I share with my readers here.  The statue on the left is by Hanneke Beaumont called Melancholia.

In 1866 the major French literary figure Victor Hugo published “Les Travailleurs de la Mer” which was later released under the English title “The Toilers of the Sea”. This work included this quotation.

“Le désespoir a des degrés remontants. De l’accablement on monte à l’abattement, de l’abattement à l’affliction, de l’affliction à la mélancolie. La mélancolie est un crépuscule. La souffrance s’y fond dans une sombre joie.
La mélancolie, c’est le bonheur d’être triste.”

“Despair has ascending degrees. From prostration one mounts to despondency, from despondency to affliction, from affliction to melancholy. Melancholy is a twilight. Suffering melts into it in sombre joy.
Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.”

No, I am anything but melancholic.

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15 Responses to Melancholia.

  1. Wisewebwoman says:

    You don’t strike me as melancholic at all Ramana. More of the biting life off in big chunks and living as passionately as you can, and I guess we’ve been blog buds for a long time now.

    Your friend does not know you well.

    XO
    WWW
    Wisewebwoman recently posted..Eating

  2. tammy j says:

    why is it that people who actually enjoy solitude are assumed melancholy?
    there are people who cannot be alone. and to me that is sad and melancholic in itself!
    tammy j recently posted..baby butts and coconut

  3. shackman says:

    Nothing about you I have seen says melancholy. You are either the most at peace with his life that I know or you are a great actor and missed your real calling.

  4. Mike says:

    A little melancholy now and again isn’t bad.
    Mike recently posted..Exercise Balls

  5. That’s a big memory trigger for me. My father used to sing it to me when I was young.

    I disagree with Victor Hugo’s definition. I partially agree with this dictionary’s version:

    a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

    The cause can be existential, realizing that life can be “horrible, horrible, horrible”, to use Bertrand Russell’s wording. But just because there isn’t any joy there, it can stir thinking and lead to some marvelous things.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Safety Instructions

  6. agree with others on your status 🙂

    I’ve not used that word or even heard for decades – but I do suffer a lot (recently anyway) of being in a “downer”

    the hot water system power system is really getting me “down” – I know it’s temporary (well I hope it is)

  7. nick says:

    Google tells me melancholy means a pensive sadness. Well, pensive you may very well be, but I see no sign of melancholy. On the contrary, you seem to greatly enjoy life, with plenty of things to keep you occupied and a lively curiosity about all sorts of subjects.
    nick recently posted..Bottle opening

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