mal-de-siècle

The Patient

Doctor, a despair for life,
which is rooted and born in my innermost spirit,
the mal-de-siècle…the same illness of Werther,
Rolla, Manfred, and Leopardi.
Weariness with everything, an absolute
contempt for everything human…an incessant
abhorrence of the vileness of existence
worthy of my master Schopenhauer,
a profound malaise which grows greater
with all the tortures of analysis…

The Doctor

—It’s a question of regimen; go
for a walk first thing in the morning; get plenty of sleep;
go swimming; have a lot to drink; eat well; look after yourself;
what’s wrong with you is that you are hungry!…

José Asunción Silva

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