I want to retain the possibility of accidie
, as well as situations where passion overwhelms us; see, for example, Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a Practical Point of View, ed.
Anomie and accidie
which were also mentioned are, I fear, surely doomed to extinction.
Through spiritual or physical tiredness, through accidie
, through weakness of body, through general apathy, through despair, through inability to concentrate, through a feeling of uselessness or futility, and so on, one may feel less and less motivated to seek what is good.
his wyf and his wenche Baren hym to his bed and brouhten hym per-ynne, And aftur al this exces he hadde an accidie
aftur; A sleep Saturday and Sonenday til pe sonne zede to reste.
It is not enough merely to recover one's humanity within disillusionment, and it is not enough merely to express the range of one's "minor, banal dissatisfactions," to continue with Wilde's definition, or to express "not anomie or accidie
or dread but a muted series of irritations, frustrations, and bafflements" amidst that death of consciousness, a death which "may explain the concern with the apocalyptic in much recent fiction or with the self-abnegations of the minimalist and the aleatory in painting and music" (15-16,129,165,170-78).
When he tells us that he is writing a journal as a defense against accidie
, modern readers recognize the sound of a classical sin--and, if they bother to Google it, will find that it is the sin of sloth, of wasting due to lack of use.
In accepting the Fellowship, Baxter was making his peace with academia, with the 'puritanism' of New Zealand bureaucracy and the accidie
of respectable domesticity--in short, with the gorgons he'd slain in order to become a poet in the first place.