Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words.
I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feelings. I’d like t ohave at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of morality brought on by aging family members”connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants”as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.”

(c) jeffrey eugenides, 2002
middlesex is published by bloomsbury

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