Anatomy of Melancholy, 159-160: Subsect. VII – Of the Inward Senses

A of M 160


In this section Burton discourses on common sense, phantasy (or imagination), and memory.

On imagination he writes:

In melancholy men this faculty is most powerful and strong, and often hurts, producing many monstrous and prodigious things, especially if it be stirred up by some terrible object, presented to it from common sense or memory. In poets and painters imagination forcibly works, as appears by their several fictions, antics, images: as Ovid’s house of sleep, Psyche’s palace in Apuleius, &c. 

In other words, vivid imaginations make poets sad. So I made this picture inspired by my favorite sad visionary poet, William Blake. When I have time I will come back here and post some of his art.

In other news, the countdown to reading slightly faster begins today. In ten days I will have a meager amount of regular childcare, wooooohooooo!!!! Still it will realistically be three to five years before I finish this ridiculously long project, meaning no pressure to read this big heavy dense book at any kind of rapid pace. We are talking probably 5-8 pages per week. Join in? Tell your friends? Or just stop by to say hello and look at the pictures sometimes.


This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. More info here and follow along on Facebook here. Illustrations posted via devon_isadevon on Instagram.


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