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The sudden sense of the loss of significance, which is central to melancholy, or accidie or ennui, used to be experienced in a framework in which the meaning of things was beyond doubt.
I try to remember what they said in the thirteen hundreds: Accidie poisons the soul stream.
This sense of accidie little moments that are significant and which continually happen in an uninvited way, will be quite familiar to those who have lived in the near east - the fatalism, for example.