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In Praise of Melancholy

SEATTLE, Washington - The 10am Friday hour of Dennis Prager's radio show is always designated the "Happiness Hour" and happiness is discussed. Dennis is a big proponent of happiness.

This week, he let an enemy into the den, so to speak; he interviewed Eric Wilson, a professor at Wake Forest and the author of Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy.

The commercial-free mp3 is here: topics discussed include the treatment of melancholy in various Christian and Jewish traditions; Keats; Sartre; and the role of melancholy in creativity.


Christine said...

I listened to that interview last night but am commenting now. I probably should have commented right then when it was fresh in my mind. Listening to it was tough because Prager just seems so simple-minded. He didn't even seem to grasp all the concepts that Eric Wilson was trying to get across during the interview. I kept thinking to myself as Prager made comments about what it would be like to be Wilson's wife that I would choose Wilson in a heartbeat if it were a choice between the two. I could be my authentic self with him and he could be his which brings long-term happiness to me. Prager would go around trying to be perky-happy 100% of the time and I would probably kill the mother-fucker. Happiness isn't a mood you are supposed to be in all of the time. Happiness is an overall state you are supposed to try to achieve by having the basics you want in life like family, friends, financial security, health, whatever it is that gives you pleasure and peace, personal meaning that you create etc. etc. Grief, suffering, pain, sadness, melancholy etc. are all part of life. Sometimes people who experience a great deal of any one of these things tend to find greater happiness because only then can they truly value the basics more. I could go on and on but what's the point? I don't know how you can listen to Prager. Maybe, he isn't always that annoying.