05 January 2008

melancholia

Since reading Lincoln's melancholy by Joshua Wolf Shenk this summer, my brother and I have been discussing melancholia and its role in contemplation and thought. Melancholy (melanchol*) and utopia are both words that jump out of writings and art work titles for me. And fill my mental commonplace book. It happened again last week when I was reading a backlogged issue of The New York times (Dec. 19). The article was about rappers in Marseille (yes, the one in France). One of them -- Soprano (M'Roumbaba Saïd) -- has a track called "Melancholic anonymous" about which he said "I can't help it, expressing my feelings, my melancholy in my lyrics. I can laugh at my sadness. It helps."

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