Operator Speaking by Zachary Constantine

On Anhedonia and Horror

2009-05-05 23:12:06 // The Operator
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Earlier today I was struck by an aspect of myself which left me at a loss for words – I knew there was some description for what I was experiencing which would sum up my thoughts on the matter and allow me to better understand myself (cue the immediate reaction to mouseover the “Back” button as you encounter another horrible, introspective blog post).

I envied the ability others seems to exhibit as they genuinely enjoy experiences – I cannot claim to be utterly disabled in this respect, though years of displeasure and hardship have failed to exercise my capacity for joy; cynicism is the ultimate kill-joy. Why is it so hard to simply enjoy life?

I completed reading The Nightmare Factory in my room (rather than outdoors, as I had originally intended) and found an interview with Thomas Ligotti which found the words I had misplaced:

I’m completely detached from anything, including myself and anyone around me. Doing anything just seems plain stupid, which in my opinion it ultimately is. This is the lesson of anhedonia, which is an eminently rational state. But if you’re going to do anything, you must be in an irrational state of emotion, and without this irrationality your life is just numbers: how long, how much, how many, how far. Emotion gives an illusory focus and meaning to our lives.

… I could say that it’s like being emotionally blind, deaf, dumb, mute, and totally paralyzed, but such similes aren’t effective unless you’ve gone through the experience yourself.

- “It’s all a matter of personal pathology”:
An Interview with Thomas Ligotti

Suspicion confirmed: Ligotti’s work resounds with me as a result of shared affliction and affectation.

Corollary: The grain of truth which exists in analysis outside of emotional qualification is a horror unto itself.

One Response to “On Anhedonia and Horror”

  1. D. White Says:

    Why is it so hard to simply enjoy life?

    Because we’re cynical by nature, whether we like it or not. I could have written the beginning of this blog more than a year ago when I made an enormous and life altering decision. Since then I have been trying to free myself of the binds of cynicism, not without success; but this is not an easy road to travel. Unburdening yourself of the cynical kill-joy sitting heavily on our heads is possible, just not painless.

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