Mapping the Black Void: Ianka Diagileva’s poem ‘Klassicheskii depresniak’
ForfatterSteinholt, Yngvar B.
The article presents a two-level analysis of a poem on depression, ‘Klassicheskii depresniak’ (‘Classic Depressive’), by the Siberian poet and singer Iana “Ianka” Diagileva (1966-1991). The first level of analysis focuses on the lexical stratum of the poem, while the second compares the poem to psychiatric diagnostics (DSM-IV) and cognitive psychological theory (Seligman 1975), recommended by two expert clinical psychologist respondents presented with the poem. On the first level, the analysis finds a pronounced scarcity of verbs and verbal forms which correspond to an absence of action and agency; vague and ambiguous markers of identity and space; and frequent markers of stasis and absence. Moreover, whereas markers of pain and suffering are clearly present throughout the poem, fear is absent. The lexical analysis shows how the poem maps the state of depression in the form of phases of stasis and absence, where even individual identity is rendered irrelevant. On the second level, the poem is found to confirm all nine DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for a major depressive disorder. The poem also lends itself to comparison with the concept of “learned helplessness” within cognitive approaches to psychological theory, which helps to explain the reason for its particular lexical characteristics. Finally, despite its dark subject matter, the poem utilises humour to subtly ridicule its object of description, undermining its status as an object of fear.
Source at https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/68357.