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Don DeLillo typically provides the exhilarating nadir of literary joylessness in the figure of Bill Gray, the reclusive writer at the center of his last novel, Mao II.
THE state-imposed joylessness threatening football reached a new low on Sunday when David O'Leary was roundly criticised for, er, running on to the pitch to celebrate a victory.
Spare a thought for the children whose lives are consumed by the misery of their parents, by the joylessness of their poverty.
The attempts to stifle goal celebrations is reaching ludicrous proportions of authoritarian joylessness now.
Most poignantly of all, there is a joylessness about his golf now that is clearly rooted in deeper reasons than his failure to win a Major in his last five attempts.
Erich From, in a somewhat similar vein, has emphasized the joylessness of the societies which exploit groups in their midst since they coerce conformity and thwart normal expression and hence generate destructiveness.
There have been scattered exceptions, in the last few years, to the general joylessness of progressive politics: A new trend, at least I hope a trend, toward including at least one rousing outdoor demo in each conference program.
A balding, chubby and wholly unprepossessing failed composer, Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot) gets a job as teacher's assistant at Fond de d'Etang, a boarding school on paper and a dumping ground for problem kids in practice, administered with a rod of iron by headmaster Rachin (Francois Berleand) whose Dickensian joylessness and cruel discipline instantly aligns Mathieu with the pupils.
He initiates the argument with a relentless critique of latter-day American humanism of the likes of Allan Bloom, William Bennett, or Saul Bellow, who represent "the anti-intellectualism of American life" and are characterized by "a certain dyspepsia of tone" and "the sour pursing of the lips that expresses joylessness and disapproval," all of it driven by the "unpleasant American penchant for moralizing reductiveness" and the stern conviction that "'the approved culture is salubrious in an unadulterated and finally uncomplicatedly redemptive way.
MacDonagh's strong religious commitment might account for his overlooking the baneful effect Catholicism had on post-Treaty Ireland, contributing to the joylessness that, along with a failed economy, continued to send young people out of the country.
but the reality of attempting to suppress most pleasurable activities tends to make it a day of enforced joylessness.