Don’t despair (Kafka)


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The Desperate Man — Albrecht Durer

“Despair” — Leonardo da Vinci


Fatalism — Jan Toorop

Saturday — Glen Baxter


The Shipwreck — Francisco Goya


Carolyn (Perry Bible Fellowship)

“Do You Despair?” (Kafka)

(From a 1910 diary entry).

“I Wouldn’t Recommend It” — J.G. Ballard on Writing Novels

Writing a novel is one of those modern rites of passage, I think, that lead us from an innocent world of contentment, drunkenness, and good humor, to a state of chronic edginess and the perpetual scanning of bank statements. By the eighteenth book, one has a sense of having bricked oneself into a niche, a roosting place for other people’s pigeons. I wouldn’t recommend it.

From J.G. Ballard”s Paris Review interview.

David Foster Wallace Defines The Word Despair

From David Foster Wallace’s essay “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” collected in the book of the same name:

The word’s overused and banalified now, despair, but it’s a serious word, and I’m using it seriously. For me it denotes a simple admixture—a weird yearning for death combined with a crushing sense of my own smallness and futility that presents as a fear of death. It’s maybe close to what people call dread or angst. But it’s not these things, quite. It’s more like wanting to die in order to escape the unbearable feeling of becoming aware that I’m small and weak and selfish and going without any doubt at all to die. It’s wanting to jump overboard.