Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blogged down

I'm afraid I'm having a tough time finding the inspiration to blog right now. I'm one of those people who endure occasional bouts of severe depression, when my word world fades away and the colour drains from life -- and there isn't an original thought in my echoing skull space. The writer William Styron, author of Sophie's Choice, was stricken by a deep and chronic depression at the height of his powers and was unable to write at all -- or even function -- for years. When he finally did, it was to produce a terrifying, yet very valuable account of the experience. I ain't no William Styron, and I don't have attacks that bad, but the symptoms are quite similar. I've just noticed them coming on, and hence probably my failure to blog merrily. Well, that's my excuse. People who blow children up "in self-defence" may just have lit the touchpaper.

Update: now seems as good a time as any to post the speech from Hamlet which describes the classic symptoms of depression, or melancholia, and from which this blog derives its name (and which is, of course, Withnail's finest ever performance):

I have of late -- but wherefore I know not -- lost all my mirth, forgone
all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition
that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this
most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other
thing to me than a foul and pestilential congregation of vapours. What a
piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in
form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in
apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!
And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no,
nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.


Blogger First Nations said...

clinical depression here; hello.
look into prozac or one of the other reuptake inhibitors, my dear. there is no reason to sacrifice quality of life when it may only take 5mcg. of something to make it better.

7:25 PM  
Blogger patroclus said...

Oh Dave, sorry to hear it. I hope it goes away quickly. Don't worry about the blog - we'll still be here when you get back!

(And why does it always sound like a threat when I say that?)

8:03 PM  
Blogger Pashmina said...

Come back when the worst is over, Dave, we'll miss you...

10:36 AM  
Blogger Wyndham said...

I'd always had my suspicions about that Styron! All the best, dave, I need someone to argue with about movies.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Interpreter Pavlov said...

Know how you feel. It's not good. And people don't, or won't, understand that nature sometimes needs to recharge the creative accumulators. But there's a temporary and occasional remedy some people find effective: parody. Two parodies a day, taken with a strong antiseptic like malt whisky, have been known to work wonders. You could parodise Styron. He can bear it and you might feel a lot better. Don't expect this is any help at all.

12:56 PM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

Thanks for all the kind thoughts and bits of advice. I value all of you -- as well as your wit -- and it all helps, really. I'm around, just lurking rather.

8:31 PM  
Blogger BiB said...

I find myself drawn to the Rondo in Schubert's Piano Sonata in A (D959) when things reach a low ebb. Don't know if it helps really, especially as I worry he wrote it at the height of his bonkersness, but it's spinechillingly inspiring.

All the best.

1:28 AM  

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