Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To restrict search results by languageā€¦

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Search Tool allows you to restrict your search by Language. PEP Web contains articles written in English, French, Greek, German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Benvenuto, S. (2018). The Silent Fog. Am. Imago, 75(1):1-23.

(2018). American Imago, 75(1):1-23

The Silent Fog

Sergio Benvenuto

In a certain sense boredom is the most sublime of human feelings.

—G. Leopardi, Thoughts

Boredom is the most sterile of human passions. Born of emptiness and generating the void, because not just sterile in itself, but making everything it touches or mixes with sterile too.

—G. Leopardi, Zibaldone

I Acedia

Boredom, laziness, disgust, depression, melancholy, desperation, abulia. These concepts are all interlaced and every era has chosen to focus on one. The topic continues to be studied today (see Agamben, 1977/1993). At the end of Antiquity and during the Middle Ages, however, akedia (ἀκηδία)—lethargy or listlessness—was particularly written about. In those centuries, akedia became sloth, one of the seven capital sins, an ailment specific to monks.

Indeed, a lethal danger loomed over the monk, alone in the Egyptian stone desert where he spent his life trying to resemble Jesus as much as possible. At noontide, when the sun was at its peak and the heat became stifling, the “meridian demon” took possession of the loner's soul. Monakos in Greek means solitary and celibate. These single, quite singular, men would give that noon scourge the Greek name akedia, later Latinized into acedia. The “a” is the privative prefix and “kédos” means care—in other words, acedia, sloth, is an unconcern, an indifference, a negligence, and a dejection.

From the Egyptian Thebais acedia moved to the monasteries of the West.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the article. PEP-Web provides full-text search of the complete articles for current and archive content, but only the abstracts are displayed for current content, due to contractual obligations with the journal publishers. For details on how to read the full text of 2014 and more current articles see the publishers official website.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.