Cold World


The world of the happy is quite another than that of the unhappy.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 6.43

My copy of Dominic Fox’s Cold World: The Aesthetics of Dejection and the Politics of Militant Dysphoria arrived on Wednesday, unexpectedly early. It’s brief but potent, much like its recent and upcoming fellows in the Zero Books series, such as Owen Hatherley’s excellent Militant Modernism. The theme is artistic and political forms of deep sadness. It ranges from music (Codeine, Xasthur) to poetry (Hopkins, Coleridge, Larkin) to politics (Ulrike Meinhof and the RAF). This week Dominic has been posting excerpts on his blog, which give a good feel of the book as a whole. For what it’s worth, it comes highly recommended by me.