We still haven’t reached consensus on whether or not Hamlet is fat (see The Paunch of Denmark), but here’s another question: is he, as Matt Haig says, “literature’s most famous depressive”?
Whether you’re in Greenland or Tierra del Fuego, if you’re inclined to be glum you’ll enjoy this interview on ABC radio’s excellent All In The Mind. Haig, who has suffered severe depression and anxiety, has published several novels, childrens’ books and most recently this memoir, Reasons To Stay Alive, which hit the headlines when Stephen Fry tweeted that it was the best book he’d ever read on the subject.
On depression itself Haig says:
It literally makes you feel like you’re not real.It’s a very hard thing to explain. It’s partly physical, as well. It’s like you’re kind of invisible, even though you can see yourself. You look at yourself in your mirror and you don’t really relate to that person and everything feels like you’ve been cut and pasted from some other reality, and it’s very alienating.
Reasons To Stay Alive is a collection of advice Haig gives himself.
Over time you learn little tricks he says, and one of his little tricks is, yes, read!