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Medvedenko: Why do you wear black all the time?
Masha: I’m in mourning for my life. I’m unhappy. Anton Chekhov, The Seagull
89,998. But if we reason it out simply and not try to be one bit fancy, then what sort of pride can you possibly take or what’s the sense of ever having it, if man is poorly put together as a physiological type and if the enormous majority of the human race is brutal, stupid, and profoundly unhappy. Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard
He gave her a bright fake smile; so much of life was a putting-off of unhappiness for another time. Nothing was ever lost by delay. Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter, 1948
He felt the loyalty we all feel to unhappiness – the sense that that is where we really belong. ibid.
Imagine a society that subjects people to conditions that make them terribly unhappy then gives them the drugs to take away their unhappiness. Science fiction. It is already happening to some extent in our own society. Instead of removing the conditions that make people depressed, modern society gives them antidepressant drugs. In effect antidepressants are a means of modifying an individual’s internal state in such a way as to enable him to tolerate social conditions that he would otherwise find intolerable. Theodore Kaczynski
Our society tends to regard as a sickness any mode of thought or behaviour that is inconvenient for the system and this is plausible because when an individual doesn’t fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a cure for a sickness and therefore as good. Theodore Kaczynski
I feel ever so strongly that an artist must be nourished by his passions and his despairs. These things alter an artist whether for the good or the better or the worse. It must alter him. The feelings of desperation and unhappiness are more useful to an artist than the feeling of contentment, because desperation and unhappiness stretch your whole sensibility. Francis Bacon, cited John Gruen ‘The Artist Observed’ 1991
This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone – so far. Marilyn Monroe
‘I often wish I’d got on better with your father,’ he said.
‘But he never liked anyone who – our friends,’ said Clarissa; and could have bitten her tongue for thus reminding Peter that he had wanted to marry her.
Of course I did, thought Peter; it almost broke my heart too, he thought; and was overcome with his own grief, which rose like a moon looked at from a terrace, ghastly beautiful with light from the sunken day. I was more unhappy than I’ve ever been since, he thought. And as if in truth he were sitting there on the terrace he edged a little towards Clarissa; put his hand out; raised it; let it fall. There above them it hung, that moon. She too seemed to be sitting with him on the terrace, in the moonlight. Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
No stranger to trouble myself I am learning to care for the unhappy. Virgil, Aeneid
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact. Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness, 1930
Boredom is … a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it. ibid.
A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relationships. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation. ibid.
When you’re unhappy, I guess everything in the world – reading, eating, sleeping – has something buried somewhere inside it that just makes you unhappier. Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
But they need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won’t be at peace unless they can latch to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end. Jack Kerouac, On the Road
The natural state of the sentient adult is a qualified unhappiness. F Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. Yes, yes, it’s the most comical thing in the world. Samuel Beckett
My routines come out of total unhappiness. My audiences are my group therapy. Joan Rivers
Happiness is the interval between periods of unhappiness. Don Marquis
I think writing about unhappiness is probably the source of my popularity, if I have any. After all, most people are unhappy, don’t you think? Philip Larkin
It isn’t necessary to have relatives in Kansas City in order to be unhappy. Groucho Marx
Those who divorce aren’t necessarily the most unhappy, just those neatly able to believe their misery is caused by one other person. Alain de Botton
I felt so weak and unhappy that I buried my face in the ground: I could not bear the strain of seeing around me the things of the earth. I felt convinced that every movement and every thought was forced, and that one had to be on one’s guard against them. Franz Kafka
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy. Franz Kafka
I remember one day sitting at the pool and suddenly the tears were streaming down my cheeks. Why was I so unhappy? I had success. I had security. But it wasn’t enough. I was exploding inside. Ingrid Bergman
The world of the happy is quite different from that of the unhappy. Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so. John Stuart Mill, Autobiography, 1873
For if unhappiness develops the forces of the mind, happiness alone is salutary to the body. Marcel Proust
Happiness is a state of which you are unconscious, of which you are not aware. The moment you are aware that you are happy, you cease to be happy ... You want to be consciously happy; the moment you are consciously happy, happiness is gone. Jiddu Krishnamurti
One is never as unhappy as one thinks, nor as happy as one hopes. Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Sentences et Maximes de Morale, 1664
There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one – keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy. Mark Twain