In many cultures people have developed basic human feelings and emotions in elaborated art forms. Sometimes they were given names as Saudade in the Portugese culture or Duende in the Spanish culture. Names that have no immediate translation in English:
Saudade has been described as a "...vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist ... a turning towards the past or towards the future." A stronger form of saudade. may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing. It may also be translated as a deep longing or yearning for something that does not exist or is unattainable.
El duende is the spirit of evocation. It comes from inside as a physical/emotional response to music. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive. Folk music in general, especially flamenco, tends to embody an authenticity that comes from a people whose culture is enriched by diaspora and hardship; vox populi, the human condition of joys and sorrows.
Are there in other languages or other cultures elaborated concepts that try to describe the difficult-to-define complexities of feelings?
The term "the blues" refers to the "blue devils", meaning melancholy and sadnes. In lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood.
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, or problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions; and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may be present.
This is great!
Thank you for the list, I have to study it, but I can see it gives a lot of `feeling concepts`
I never read in my Spanish study books the kind of explanation you gave about the difference between " Ser" and " Estar". In so far feelings are involved, as I understand, the difference is a sense of identification.
I am looking forward to what come up from your memory search. Could there also be feelings involved in the Argentinian Tango, and words to describe those feelings?
Thank you for your contribution!
In 1917, folk singer Carlos Gardel recorded his first tango song Mi Noche Triste, forever associating tango with the feeling of tragic love as revealed in the lyric.With Mi Noche Triste, the birth of sentimental tango took place. Nostalgic, melodramatic, sad, the new lyrics and the music that was created for them, embodied Buenos Aires and its people. Contursi wrote a melodramatic story that rejected lovers could identify with.
What if the feelings and emotions we "get" from music and painting etc. were not in the music or the painting at all? What if all of this stuff is only in our heads?
Edward tells how he became fascinated by an art exhibition he attended in London. In one exhibit the featured artwork was an empty room with white walls and nothing but a light bulb suspended from the ceiling. The bulb would go on for a while then go off for a while. People would spend quite a lot of time in this room, desperately trying to figure out what it all meant. E's conclusion was that this is precisely the reaction the artist wanted. He wanted people to think about it. Whatever reaction a person registered was clearly a valid reaction and whatever feelings, insights, explanations etc. that people came up with were all perfectly correct. This clearly annoys some people, because many hanker for the "one, true explanation". That there is no "one, true explanation" is itself one of the possible explanations. Which is to say there may be no explanation at all. But then, there might be... Such a thing may well evoke a saudade type feeling.
Art only happens in your head - not outside it. I mention this since the basis of Gijs's question relates primarily to language concepts, though not exclusively. Art and music are a kind of "code" where the meaning of the code is invented by the receiver of the encoded message.