Monthly Archives: March 2013

Weltschmerz

Tuesday was Town Meeting Day here in Vermont (granted, some towns met Monday night). We townspeople gathered in meeting halls, school auditoriums, and theatres to discuss our town budgets, town business, and whether or not to use funds for various items like new dump trucks. It was a long day for many of us (especially those of us not particularly gregarious or tolerant of fold-out chairs) but it is always nice to see your neighbors and enjoy a cup of coffee and a freshly baked maple cinnamon roll.

For many people, yesterday brought along Weltschmerz.

Weltschmerz is a noun that means world weariness; pessimism, mental depression, apathy, or sadness felt at the difference between physical reality and the ideal state. How often have you experienced Weltschmerz this year already, oddlings?

It hails from the German Welt for world plus Schmerz for pain. Literally, it means world pain.

Many consider this part of the oeuvre of true Gothic romantics and the likes of Lord Byron, Hermann Hesse, and Alfred de Musset.

It can also be in the oeuvre of a rather old man who has spent a feverish night making notes in his Laboratory Journal only to rise in the morning and discover that the heat is still not working in that wing of the house and the scones are too dry and the coffee is not strong enough.

Nothing a stiff drink and a brisk walk won’t cure, eh?

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