Here’s a passage which pretty much speaks for itself, and which I’ve quoted at length below, from the L A Times:
“Melancholia, far from error or defect, is an almost miraculous invitation to rise above the contented status quo and imagine untapped possibilities. We need sorrow, constant and robust, to make us human, alive, sensitive to the sweet rhythms of growth and decay, death and life.
This of course does not mean that we should simply wallow in gloom, that we should wantonly cultivate depression. I’m not out to romanticize mental illnesses that can end in madness or suicide.
On the contrary, following Keats and those like him, I’m valorizing a fundamental emotion too frequently avoided in the American scene. I’m offering hope to those millions who feel guilty for being downhearted. I’m saying that it’s more than all right to descend into introspective gloom. In fact, it is crucial, a call to what might be the best portion of ourselves, those depths where the most lasting truths lie.”
Read more here. It’s well worth the time.