The Altered Perceptions of Anxiety, Remorse and Nostalgia
“We may justly ask of both ourselves and of our traditions, how does anxiety work? Why does it assail us in this or that place but never in all places all at once? And if anxieties do assail us, Anxiety itself might better be said to accost us. We are arrested, perhaps in more than one sense, by its calling. It is at once the Nothing of the existentialists, but it is more than that. Since it seems all too easy to be more than nothing we need to immediately note that capital ‘N’ Nothing is quite something after all. It is the very ardor of all that we never had; yet more so, all that we never could have. The next beautiful young person, the latest scion of wealth or even the lottery, the relic of historical triumph and tragedy alike, the painting we never rendered, the poem we never wrote. Nothing is the whitest nova of all the colors of desire and loss at once. It is very much the opposite of any nought. No, those noughts, the emptiness and zero sum of our failed endeavors both personal and professional alike, is what we carry around within ourselves. Further, it is what allows us to be ever tempted by nostalgia and even remorse, for both can become addicts. The question then of how Anxiety works and also does not work, and how its two lesser siblings either support or undermine its workings, is thus at the very heart of the human experience. This is the question that is the subject of this book.” (from the introduction, 2019).
Here is the full clothbound cover image: