Weltschmerz = literally world pain, which can be understood as universal pain, world weariness, or melancholia.
A feeling of things in the world being so wrong that they can never be fixed. It’s a term coined by the German author Jean Paul aka Johann Paul Friedrich Richter (1763-1825), who was a Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories. It’s a kind of feeling experienced by someone who understands that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. This kind of world view was widespread among romantic authors such as Lord Byron, Giacomo Leopardi, François-René de Chateaubriand, Alfred de Musset, Nikolaus Lenau, Hermann Hesse, and Heinrich Heine. It is also used to denote the feeling of anxiety caused by the ills of the world. The modern meaning of Weltschmerz is the psychological pain caused by sadness that can occur when realizing that someone’s own weaknesses are caused by the inappropriateness and cruelty of the world and physical and social circumstances. Weltschmerz may cause depression, resignation, escapism, and can become a problem. The modern meaning should also be compared with the concept of anomie, or a kind of alienation, that Émile Durkheim wrote about. John Steinbeck wrote about the feeling in The Winter of Our Discontent. In music, Weltschmerz, and especially dark romanticism play an important part in Goth rock. Kurt Vonnegut also references this feeling in his novel Player Piano.
Weltschmerz is the depression you feel when the world as it is does not line up with the world as you think it should be.
- “My contribution to the upcoming Paintguide exhibition at The Unit London. The private view is on the 26th Nov with the official opening on 27th and includes one of the most incredible artist lineups:
Aaron Nagel, Alessandra Maria, Allisson Sommers, Andrew Hem, Andy Espinoza, Amy Sol, Anthony Hurd, Anthony Waichulis, Aron Wiesenfeld, Audrey Kawasaki, Benjamin Björklund, Brad Kunkle, Brandon Holt, Casey Baugh, Casey Weldon, Conrad Roset, Dan Quintana, David Kassan, Daniel Ochoa, Eloy Morales, Eric Fortune, Erik Jones, Esao Andrews, Greg “Craola” Simkins, Hollis Dunlap, Hsiao Ron Cheng, Ivan Alifan, Jake Wood-Evans, Jean-Paul Mallozzi, Jeff Hein, Jeremy Geddes, Jeremy Mann, Jesse Draxler, João Ruas, Joel Rea, Julio Reyes, Kai Samuels-Davis, Kenichi Hoshine, Kevin Llewellyn, Kim Cogan, Kit King, Linsey Levendall, Marco Mazzoni, Martin Wittfooth, Morten Thyholt, Matt R. Martin, Michael Hussar, Nicomi Nix Turner, Richey Beckett, Ryan Hewett, Sail, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Sverre Malling, Serge Marshennikov, Sean Cheetham, Shawn Barber, Tom Bagshaw, Tony Curanaj and Vincent Xeus.
Alongside the show, Henrik is putting together a hardback book containing 5 works by each artist and has set up a Kickstarter to help fund the project with some great backer rewards!
Thanks so much to Henrik Uldalen for including me and i hope to see some of you at the opening night!”
This 1883 edition of Heinrich Heine’s Buch der Lieder is almost a foot long on the long edge, so it feels rather large and imposing when it’s sitting in front of you. It’s a later edition of Heine’s great collection of poems about love, sorrow, and politics.
No doubt one of the reasons it was made so large was to allow more room for Paul Thumann’s beautiful engravings.