After a chapter that anatomizes the gender politics of Ficino’s meditations on melancholia and which provides an incisive alternative by way of Hildegard von Bingen, we come across this conclusion.
Hildegard also traces a crucial difference when she speaks of those who resist melancholia as potential “martyrs.” Yet nothing seems to emblematize the ruses of male melancholia as a discursive practice better than the figure of the martyr, whose woeful suffering is merely the price to be paid for entrance into the immortal pantheon of heroes, philosophers or artists. But in Hildegard’s revisionist sense, the martyr’s suffering is not the call of something higher but the call to struggle for something better. Suffering is not something to withstand or passively “enjoy” but something to alleviate and overcome.
Our emphasis. Juliana Schiesari. The Gendering of Melancoholia: Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Symbolics of Loss in Renaissance Literature.
And so for day 327