Abstract

Abstract:

Melancholia is an attunement of despair and despondency that can involve radical disruptions to temporal experience. In this article, I extrapolate from the existing analyses of melancholic time to examine some of the important existential implications of these temporal disruptions. In particular, I focus on the way in which the desynchronization of melancholic time can complicate the melancholic’s relation to death and, consequently, to the meaning and significance of their life. Drawing on Heidegger’s distinction between death and demise, I argue that melancholic time leaves the melancholic in an impossible state of existing, where they are both unable to live and unable to die. Turning to the role of the physician, I consider the significant role that clinical interventions might have in resynchronizing the melancholic with time and examine these ideas further through a case study on physician-assisted suicide. In so doing, I demonstrate that the desynchronization of melancholic time should indeed be understood as a matter of life and death.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3303
Print ISSN
1071-6076
Pages
pp. 203-213
Launched on MUSE
2020-09-26
Open Access
No
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