Richard Mabey

You Brits know him, but I don’t. There was an article this morning in the Washington Post about his book, Nature Cure.

The article, by Adrian Higgins, is unusually sensitive and perceptive. He characterizes the writer’s depression as “a deep, numbing sense of despair induced by nothing in particular and everything in general,” and tells us that Mabey’s intention to make the book an investigation of depression “through an ecological prism” is “made harder by the fact that melancholy has no raison d’etre in biological terms.” He quotes Mabey as writing that depression “seems to have no connection with the biological business of living at all. And what it did to me was unearthly, in that it negated, cut dead, all the things in which I most believed: the importance of sensual engagement with the world, the link between feeling and intelligence, the inseparability of nature and culture.”

That “unearthly” cuts to the quick, doesn’t it?

Not a book I intend to let pass by.

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