melancholia

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MELANCHOLIA, med. jur. A name given by the ancients to a species of partial intellectual mania, now more generally known by the name of monomania. (q.v.) It bore this name because it was supposed to be always attended by dejection of mind and gloomy ideas. Vide Mania.,

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The images in Melencolia I have been scrutinized for 500 years.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the iconography of Durer's Melencolia I and Consolo's ekphrastic rendition of it in Nottetempo, casa per casa, bring to mind Benjamin's "Theses on the Philosophy of History": "A Klee painting named "Angelus Novus" shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating.
Pepper are straight out of Albrecht Durer's Melencolia I, and the engraving's symbolism of hourglass, numerology, astrology, and geometry--even of the carpenter's nails on the floor--is also strangely appropriate.
Quixote's obsessive reading habits distort the aims of study espoused by Petrarch in De vita solitaria just as surely as they reproduce the indecision of Albrecht Durer's Melencolia I, which captures the exact moment when Melancholy abandons the tools of intellectual work to reflect upon their use or uselessness.
2 ALBRECHT DURER'S MELENCOLIA I, 1514 As long as we're on the subject: In his seminal essay "Mourning and Melancholia," Sigmund Freud writes that the melancholic suffers from an oral fixation.