By Ann Cvetkovich
In melancholy: A Public Feeling, Ann Cvetkovich combines memoir and important essay looking for methods of writing approximately melancholy as a cultural and political phenomenon that supply choices to clinical versions. She describes her personal adventure of the pro pressures, inventive anxiousness, and political hopelessness that ended in highbrow blockage whereas she was once completing her dissertation and writing her first booklet. development at the insights of the memoir, within the serious essay she considers the concept feeling undesirable constitutes the lived adventure of neoliberal capitalism.
Cvetkovich attracts on an strange archive, together with bills of early Christian acedia and religious depression, texts connecting the histories of slavery and colonialism with their violent present-day legacies, and utopian areas produced from lesbian feminist practices of crafting. She herself seeks to craft a queer cultural research that debts for melancholy as a old type, a felt adventure, and some degree of access into discussions approximately concept, modern tradition, and lifestyle. melancholy: A Public Feeling means that utopian visions can stay in day-by-day conduct and practices, similar to writing and yoga, and it highlights the centrality of somatic and felt adventure to political activism and social transformation.
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Extra info for Depression: a public feeling
Sedgwick, “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading, or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Essay Is about You,” Touching Feeling, 123– 52. 12. Stewart, Ordinary Affects. ” 13. See Sedgwick, Touching Feeling, and Sedgwick and Frank, Shame and Its Sisters; and in addition to works cited in note 2 by Ahmed, Cobb, Butler, Crimp, Dolan, Duggan, Eng, Gould, Halberstam, Hoad, Jakobsen and Pellegrini, Joseph, Love, Manalansan, Muñoz, Soto, Snediker, and Warner, see also work on queer temporalities such as Dinshaw, Getting Medieval; Freeman, “Queer Temporalities,” and Time Binds; and Halberstam, In A Queer Time and Place, which in its concern with the affective relations between past and present has been a rich source for queer affect theory.
The critical essay that forms the second half of the book consists of three chapters, although it should ideally be read as one extended piece of writing that aspires to the form of the essay as a public genre for speculative thinking, rather than the scholarly book divided into chapters that stand alone as individual cases. 43 Across its different sections, including the memoir, the book seeks to craft—and it’s no accident that crafting is one of its topics—a cultural analysis that can adequately represent depression as a historical category, a felt experience, and a point of entry into discussions not only about theory and contemporary culture but about how to live.
I came to writing memoir because of my interest in its power as a public feelings genre, one that is both immensely popular and a vehicle for alternative testimonial and scholarship. As my “Depression Manifesto” proclaims, I was also dissatisfied with more popular mainstream depression memoirs—such as William Styron’s Darkness Visible, Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation, Lauren Slater’s Prozac Diary, and Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon—all of which largely, if ambivalently, endorse pharmaceutical treatment, but I decided that rather than cri- 24 Introduction tique memoir it would be more useful to engage in writing it as a form of research method.
Depression: a public feeling by Ann Cvetkovich