The miracle of melancholia

In April of 1819, right around the time that he began to suffer the first symptoms of tuberculosis — the disease that had already killed his mother and his beloved brother, Tom — the poet John Keats sat down and wrote, in a letter to his brother, George, the following question: “Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a Soul?”

So writes Eric Wilson, in an op-ed article for The Los Angeles Times, which is a bite-sized version of a longer essay from The Chronicle Review, that we featured last month.

Because you can never have enough melancholia.

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