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The First Post

The name for this blog, Black Sun, comes from the 1987 book by Julia Kristeva. Subtitled Depression and Melancholia, Kristeva considers the meaning of these terms with reference to art, literature, philosophy, the history of religion and culture as well as psychoanalysis. Using such works as Hans Holbein the younger’s The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb she analyses what it means to experience melancholia and what this means for the language of depression – taking the view that depression does indeed have a language of its own to be learned, rather than viewing it strictly as a pathology to be treated. She uses the image of the Dead Christ as a prism to reflect on the works of other notable artists of the last 500 years, particuklarly Dostoyevsky and Marguerite Duras. Originally written in her native French, it is an elegent work, through which Kristeva seeks to illuminate our darkest moments in a persuasive theory of depression which I found at times moving, disturbing and provocative.

I was fascinated by this book – and I really felt it spoke about something I was already aware of inside me. Hence the title of this blog.

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521) Hans Holbein the Younger 1497-1543