Simon Mussell
Search for other papers by Simon Mussell in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Feeling blue
Melancholic dispositions and conscious unhappiness
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

This chapter explores how the work of first-generation critical theory can offer some interesting and timely insights into the current political economy of emotion that binds happiness and wellbeing to positivity, productivity, and measurable output. It begins by charting the major historical conceptualizations of melancholia, both in its medical and cultural iterations, since these have played such a significant role in shaping our understanding of (un)happiness. The chapter focuses on Walter Benjamin's varied and complex engagements with melancholia, many of which contrast with the traditional readings of melancholia as inherently passive, inward-looking, static, and so forth. It closes with an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.

 

Critical theory and feeling

The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 569 392 5
Full Text Views 81 34 16
PDF Downloads 62 23 8