For those who are racked by melancholia, writing about it would have meaning only if writing sprang out of that melancholia. I am trying to address an abyss of sorrow, a noncommunicable grief that at times, and often on a long term basis, lays claim upon us to the extent of having us lose all interest in words, actions, and even life itself. Such despair is not a revulsion that would imply my being capable of desire and creativity, negative indeed but present. Within depression, if my existence is on the verge of collapsing, its lack of meaning is not tragic – it appears obvious to me, glaring and inescapable.
Where does this black sun come from? Out of what eerie galaxy do its invisible, lethargic rays reach me, pinning me down to the ground, to my bed, compelling me to silence, to renunciation?
The wound I have suffered, some setback or other in my love life or profession, some sorrow or bereavement affecting my relationship with close relatives – such are often the easily spotted triggers of my despair. A betrayal, a fatal illness, some accident or handicap that abruptly wrests me away from what seemed to me the normal category of normal people or else falls on a loved one with the same radical effect, or yet… What more could I mention? An infinite number of misfortunes weigh us down every day… All this suddenly gives me another life. A life that is unlivable, heavy with daily sorrows, tears held back or shed, a total despair, scorching at times, then wan and empty. In short, a devitalized existence that, although occasionally fired by the effort I make to prolong it, is ready at any moment for a plunge into death.An avenging death or a liberating death, it is henceforth the inner threshold of my despondency, the impossible meaning of a life whose burden constantly seems unbearable, save for those moments when I pull myself together to face the disaster. I live a living death, my flesh is wounded, bleeding, cadaverized, my rhythm slowed down or uninterrupted, time has been erased or bloated, absorbed into sorrow… Absent from other people’s meaning, alien, accidental with respect to native happiness, I owe a supreme, metaphysical lucidity to my depression. On the frontiers of life and death, occasionally I have the arrogant feeling of being witness to the meaninglessness of Being, of revealing the absurdity of bonds and beings.
-Kristeva, Black Sun