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Monday, October 15, 2012

Your duty to be miserable?

See here. Also, my second most popular post of all time, Depression as a Cultural Mode.


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I need to remember my blog started out riffing on the Popol Vuh because of this, our ancestors, as the text says, wrote enlightened words and were all great sacrificers and penitents.

My students say more people are pessimistic than are optimistic, and this surprises me.

Anonymous said...

And, I am still working my theories on this out. From the article to which you link, there is this:

"The pleasant lunch with a trusted colleague, the class that goes so well that we forget the clock, the scholarly essay that writes itself, the daily walks through a lovely campus, and the perpetual renewal of our lives with each season and semester. No career is so miserable that it is not full of such signs that we are on the right path."

To which I would say gosh, I would love to ever be able to have any of those things, besides the change of semesters, happen where I work. But, I am not the complaining type.

However, my general insight on this, which I had forgotten but now have had reason to have revived, is that it isn't the directive to be depressed that is the most irksome, it is the rhetoric of renunciation that I do not like in academic culture. If you have not renounced enough things you are not valid, goes this discourse. (I have not found that renunciation, or sacrifice, or penitence is good for work.)