According to Didier Eribon, melancholy is where it all starts and where it also ends: the lifelong process of mourning that each homosexual experiences, and through which they construct their own identity. In this beguiling book, an introverted, anxious, ambitious, artistically gifted queer Filipino-Canadian boy finds solace, inspiration, and a "syllabus for living" in art--works of literature and music, from the children's literary classic Anne of Green Gables to the music of Maria Callas. But their contribution to his intellectual, emotional, and spiritual edification belies the fact that they were largely heteronormative and white, which had the effect of invisibilizing him as a queer person of color.
Part memoir, part cultural commentary, and a hybrid of besotted aesthetic appreciation and unsparing critique, Double Melancholy is by turns a passionate love letter to art and an embattled examination of its oppressive complicity with the society that produces it, and the depths to which art both enriches and colonizes us.
By C.E. Gatchalian. Paperback. 224 pages. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019.