This graphic and heart-rending typology of despair makes me conscious of having been mercifully spared much of anything that could be likened to despair.  Count your blessings, indeed.

‘Abarchuk sighed.  ‘You know what, someone ought to write a treatise on despair in the camps.  There’s a despair that crushes you, another that attacks you suddenly, another that stifles you and won’t let you breathe.  And then there’s a special kind that doesn’t do any of these things but somehow tears you to pieces from within – like a deep-sea creature brought suddenly up to the surface.’  Nyeumolimov smiled sadly.  His rotten teeth were almost the same colour as the coal-dust on his face.’

Source: Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman; trans. Robert Chandler (New York: New York Review Books, 2006 (1985)), p. 177

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