Depression and Reading: I Capture the Castle


I capture the castle R.0

I recently talked to a couple of friends about my depression and my blog. One of them, V, a great reader, suggested that if he were depressed he would want to read something sad like a tragedy. We didn’t delve too much into why but I have since wondered what made him say that. Personally, when I feel as I felt recently during a bout with depression, I want to do nothing including reading.

I’m not sure if V has had much experience with depression. Maybe the idea just sounded morbid and gothic a la Thomas Chatterton, in a frigid attic, reading Macbeth and gnawing on stale bread before committing suicide at 17.  Maybe V. pictured himself enveloped in gloom and murk, a tortured being immersed in suffering and anguish who can only throw off the scourge of depression by going to its belly and facing it.  Maybe V. will tell me what he actually meant sometime.

But if I want to read during a period of depression it would be something lighter. A delightful book that is a favourite of mine is “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith . The characters resort to using their curtains to make dresses because they have no money to buy them and the father of the  family wrote one bestselling book years ago and has been in a slump ever since. Certainly the right conditions for situational depression but the book is funny and even uplifting.  Click here for a longer review which I wrote in my Wonderful Words blog.


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