I for one am afraid that American culture’s overemphasis on happiness
at the expense of sadness might be dangerous, a wanton forgetting of an
essential part of a full life. I further am concerned that to desire
only happiness in a world undoubtedly tragic is to become inauthentic,
to settle for unrealistic abstractions that ignore concrete situations.
I am finally fearful of our society’s efforts to expunge melancholia.
Without the agitations of the soul, would all of our magnificently
yearning towers topple? Would our heart-torn symphonies cease?