Melancholia is, I believe, a musical problem: a dissonance, a change in rhythm. While on the outside everything happens with the vertiginous rhythm of a cataract, on the inside is the exhausted adagio of drops of water falling from time to tired time. For this reason the outside, seen from the melancholic inside, appears absurd and unreal, and constitutes ‘the farce we all must play’. But for an instant – because of a wild music, or a drug, or the sexual act carried to its climax – the very slow rhythm of the melancholic soul does not only rise to that of the outside world: it overtakes it with an ineffably blissful exorbitance, and the soul then thrills animated by delirious new energies
An unchangeable colour rules over the melancholic: his dwelling is a space the colour of mourning. Nothing happens in it. No one intrudes. It is a bare stage where the inert I is assisted by the I suffering from that inertia. The latter wishes to free the former, but all efforts fail, as Theseus would have failed had he been not only himself but also the Minotaur; to kill him then, he would have had to kill himself
But, who is Death? A figure that harrows and wastes wherever and however it pleases. This is also a possible description of the Countess Bathory. Never did anyone wish so hard not to grow old; I mean, to die. That is why, perhaps, she acted and played the role of Death. Because, how can Death possibly die?