Thursday, 2 May 2019

anecdoche and énouement

Via Open Culture, we are keyed into a revamped and updated mixed-media adaptation of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a project by John Koenig that crafts neologisms that are just barely removed from our accepted emotional vocabularies (see also) to tease out a relatable feeling and response that we all recognise but could not heretofore name.
Though many of the terms seem at first glance negative and diminishing, they are also an opportunity for reflection and empathy—especially at times when our sympathies and charity might be over-taxed, “sonder” (from the German adjective for special and the French verb to probe) becomes a grounding way to reframe one’s outlook, defined as the sudden shock that each passerby is living an internal and external life as vivid and complex as one’s own. Vermödalen is the humbling experience that while possibly our discoveries aren’t unique and pioneering, there’s something to be said about homage and imitation, and questioning authenticity. The title terms respectively (from anecdote with a little syncedoche and dénouement) refer to a situation where everyone is talking, sharing but no one is really listening and the feeling experienced once arrived, the realisation that the present cannot inform the past. Much more to explore including a series of short filmed vignettes at the link up top.