World Pain

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Weltschmerz is a term coined by Jean Paul for a feeling of sadness and painfully felt melancholy that someone feels about his own inadequacy, which he also regards as part of the inadequacy of the world, of the existing conditions. It is often accompanied by pessimism , resignation or an escape from reality . The German dictionary by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm names Weltschmerz as deep sadness about the inadequacy of the world .

The term was subsequently transferred in particular to a mental attitude and its literary expression of romanticism (for example Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff , Clemens Brentano , Nikolaus Lenau ). Heinrich Heine described it as "pain over the transience of earthly glory"; Thomas Mann described it as “ wistful life ”.

On the fringes of the musical new wave pop culture of the 20th century, Weltschmerz became an important topic again, for example in the lyrics of the British spoken word artist Anne Clark .

Weltschmerz is a Germanism that is widespread in many languages , including Danish, English, Polish, Swedish, Dutch, French, Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Weltschmerz  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  • Duden - In good German 2009, calendar sheet September 29th