Noonday Demon -or- Who Will Write the History of Depression?
To Be or Not to Be? -or- Literary Pleasures of Communicating
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" rhetorically asks; "To be, or not to be, that is the question", which is the perennial existential question of the melancholic who internally poetically struggles with the psychological conflicts of life and death. Much of this dramatic conflict is found in Hamlet's soliloquy where the "mise en scene" of his inner thoughts, motives, unconscious mind's desires and "momento mori" are revealed to the audience. Hamlet finds himself in a psychological "double bind", where he feels there is no exit from depression, death and tragedy.
In "Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" by Andrew Solomon tells the reader that grief and depression; "can only be described in metaphor and allegory." Solomon's metaphor of the "noonday demon" is taken from Biblical Psalm 91:6. Far from being a Biblical interpretation of depression, Solomon's own soliloquy, much like Hamlet's reveals his own personal struggles with understanding the nature of chronic grief to his readers. Asked whether the writing the book was cathartic, he responds; "It was not." Solomon does state; "I hope it will be clear that the primary pleasure of this book is a literary pleasure of communication rather than the therapeutic release of self-expression."
The section below is written in a similar hope, to enlighten from a psychodynamic perspective, those millions who are suffering from depression. Dreams provide an entrance, a door, a window to see and begin to understand the nature of the history of depression, and perhaps a way to finally find an exit from it.
Anatomy of Melancholia: An Atlas of Weltschmerz in the Global Village
Robert Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholia" served as an in-depth 17th century medical, philosophical and literary discussion of what is now known as "clinical depression". The dream interpretations below discuss the variety of aspects of melancholia and what Jean Paul called "Weltschmerz" (world weariness), a sadness when thinking about the social evils in the world. Many people living in the global village today, live in cruel social environments that closely resembles Harlow's "pit of despair".
Here are some of the dreams that speak of the psycho-dramatic theatre of cruelty (read interpretation "Theatre of Cruelty"), grief, sadness, and depression;
- A Time to Mourn -or- A Death Sentence
- Anatomy of Monsters -or- The Terrible Mother Nature Archetype
- Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying
- Ease Her Pain -or- Dream Egocentrism
- Felicific Calculus of Narcissism
- Girl Interrupted
- Grief-work -or- Digging for Answers
- Happily Ever After -or- Dreaming with a Broken Heart
- Hermann Hesse and the Downfall of the West
- Hysteria and it's Discontents
- I Won't Live in a World without Love
- I've Got You Under My Skin
- Labyrinth of Solitude
- Love in the Time of Cholera in India
- Many Faces of Betrayal
- Note to Children of Holocaust Survivors
- Only the Lonely -or- Psychological Fear of Abandonment
- Politics of the Italian Family
- Poetics of the Macabre -or- Momento Mori
- Post Partum
- Requiem for a Dream
- Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
- Side Effects
- Tedium Vitae in the Family
- The Ex-Files -or- Divorce Culture
- The Kafkaesque of Everyday Life
- Wedding Bell Blues
- Who Will Write the History of Tears
- Marjorie B. Garber, "The Dream in Shakespeare: From Metaphor to Metamorphosis"
- Julia Kristeva, "Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia"