This is a book that celebrates the most neglected but valuable emotion we can feel: melancholy. Melancholy isn’t depression, rage, or bitterness, it’s a serene, wise, and kindly response to the difficulties of being alive. It steers a mid-way course between despair on the one hand and naïve optimism on the other.
But melancholy is a well-kept secret. Those who feel the pull of melancholy moods tend to stay quiet. We don’t often hear melancholy being celebrated or accorded the respect that it deserves. It languishes unexplored in a hyper-competitive, noisy, frantic age.
This book carefully collects and interprets a selection of the most universally recognizable melancholy states of mind, rendering us less confused by our precious yet elusive feelings. We discover the melancholy of Sunday evenings and the melancholy of adolescence, the melancholy of parties and the melancholy of crushes.
Offering a varied portrait of melancholy and its range of emotions, Varieties of Melancholy leads the reader to both insight, acceptance, and self-compassion.