15 December 2011

“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar."

~Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Other moments we need words for: "The joy of waking before your alarm goes off, only to realize you have nowhere to be," and "the serenity that comes with warm, fat socks."


  1. I love this post.
    I bet if we lived together now, we'd have to make a wall-list of these. "The accomplished delight in craving a food already in the house;" "the overwhelming peace, love, and desire to do good in the world brought on by holding a sleeping baby;" "the internal joy-leaps at appropriately-placed and -used punctuation and grammar."

    1. We should probably start making that list anyway. IF ONLY THERE WERE A PLACE ON THE INTERNET WHERE WE COULD WRITE THESE DOWN!!!!

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