THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY. MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR. ROBERT BURTON was the son of Ralph Burton, of an ancient and genteel family at. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Anatomy of Melancholy. What it is, with all the kinds, causes, symptoms, prognostics, and several cures of it. In three Partitions, with their several Sections, .
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"The Anatomy of Mklancholt, wherein the author hath piled up variety of much exceller . "Burton's Anatomy or Melancholy, a book once the favourite of the. The Anatomy of Melancholy (full title: The Anatomy of Melancholy, What it is: With all the Kinds, . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. The Anatomy of Melancholy, written by Robert Burton in , is probably the most fantastical book that you haven't read. It's right up there with Finnegan's.
Because it's the best book ever written, that's why. I use the word "book" with care. It's not a novel, a tract, an epic poem, a history; it is, quite self-consciously, the book to end all books. Made out of all the books that existed in a 17th-century library, it was compiled in order to explain and account for all human emotion and thought.
It is not restricted to melancholy, or, as we call it today, depression; but then a true study of it will have to be - if you have the learning and the stamina - about everything.
That is why there are about 1, pages in this edition, why the only other edition, from Clarendon Press, runs to three volumes it also costs a bomb compared to this and is, anyway, out of print , and why Burton never, strictly speaking, finished it: there was always something else to go in. For it is not just Burton's thoughts on the subject of melancholy, but the thoughts of everyone who had ever thought about it, or about other things, whether that be goblins, beauty, the geography of America, digestion, the passions, drink, kissing, jealousy, or scholarship.
Burton, you suspect, felt the miseries of scholars keenly. This last point is important.
The lazy browser won't even pick this book off a shelf, let alone open it. When opened at random, it offers not only dense slabs of 17th-century prose, but insane lists that seem to go on for ever, meandering digressions, whole chunks of italicised Latin.
The slack browser who gets the gist of the introduction, "Democritus to the Reader" Democritus was the laughing philosopher; another clue that this is a comedy , will realise that as far as Burton is concerned, everyone on earth is either stupid or mad himself included. The Anatomy of Melancholy is an especially lengthy book, the first edition being a single quarto volume nearly pages long; subsequent editions were even longer. The text is divided into three major sections plus an introduction, the whole written in Burton's sprawling style.
Characteristically, the introduction includes not only an author's note titled "Democritus Junior to the Reader" , but also a Latin poem "Democritus Junior to His Book" , a warning to "The Reader Who Employs His Leisure Ill", an abstract of the following text, and another poem explaining the frontispiece.
The following three sections proceed in a similarly exhaustive fashion: The Anatomy concludes with an extensive index which, many years later, The New York Times Book Review called "a readerly pleasure in itself" .
Most modern editions include many explanatory notes, and translate most of the Latin. Burton's solemn tone and his endeavour to prove indisputable facts by weighty quotations were ridiculed by Laurence Sterne in Tristram Shandy.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the book by Robert Burton.
Frontispiece for the edition. The Guardian.
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