How Do You Write About Happiness?

The history of literature is the history of misery

Photo by Benjaminrobyn Jespersen on Unsplash

You don’t.

Nobody wants to hear about it.

The history of literature is the history of misery.

Down and out.

Misfortune.

Failed love.

Spiritual collapse.

Financial ruin.

A life of debt, ennui, broken hearts, doom.

Suicide: both characters and writers.

Anna lays her head on the railroad tracks.

Madame B swallows poison.

Hart jumps off the SS Orizaba.

Hem blows his head off.

DFW puts his in a noose.

[Fill in your favorite here]

Stories make us feel better about ourselves.

The wrong choices.

The bad decisions.

The wasted promise.

The bore sleeping next to us.

Waking to another day of routine drudgery.

Going nowhere.

Nobody moves to Paris in real life.

Stories of greater defeats than our own.

Achilles.

Ahab.

Jake Barnes.

Isn’t it pretty to think so.

Misery is the river of the world.

The losers never get lucky.

The consolations of fiction for the lost.

How do you write about happiness?

You don’t.

Nobody wants to hear about it.

The happy never write.

Even if they did, nobody would read.

Writing. Literature. Philosophy. Culture. Ph.D. U of Arizona.

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