In Act 2 Scene 2 of Hamlet, the Prince Hamlet says this to his ostensible friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern:
"I have of late, (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition; that this goodly frame the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o'er hanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire: why, it appeareth no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours."
I offer and embrace the foregoing, appreciating the irony (i.e., using a sublime source from literature), as a statement of my attitude with respect to life, literature, and more. A bit of autobiography might help explain the foul and pestilent offering.
When I graduated from high school in the early 60s, I went on to college as a history major who looked forward to becoming a high school teacher. Then, when my father died in the summer following my freshman year, I felt abandoned (like Hamlet), and l fell into a melancholy that derailed my future plans. Soon thereafter I received a draft notice (i.e., the U.S. government's selective service wanted me to become a soldier in Vietnam), so I came up with an alternative plan: I enlisted in the Navy. Following four years of the Navy as a cryptologic technician in Norfolk and GITMO, I returned to college again thinking I would become a high school history teacher, but I soon was seduced into a different academic plan: I became a theater major who hoped to someday become a drama teacher in either high school or college. Well, in spite of a B.A. and an M.A. (ABT) in theater, I found myself among the acutely and chronically unemployed. So I returned to the Navy, and I remained there for more than twenty years of service (with shore duty stations in California, Florida, and Iceland, and sea duty on three aircraft carriers in the Pacific). When I finished my naval career, I returned to college because I decided I would become a teacher. First I thought I would become a K-12 special education teacher, but then I set my sights on becoming a university teacher of English composition, literature, and drama. After a few more years as a student (M.A. in English) and a decade as a teacher in university classrooms, I eventually became disillusioned with teaching, literature, and life. My disillusionment, exacerbated by acute and chronic distractions, led to my "retirement" from all labors.
Now, even though I should be enjoying what I thought were going to become my "golden years" and carefree living, problems continue to besiege me, and again but more than ever "I have of late, (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth." Moreover, just as Hamlet says at the end of his life, I also have this to say: "The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit." Yes, you see, my view of literature and life has been poisoned. I do not understand why.
In any case, I suppose I should apologize for this posting. The tone and substance is not very useful. Perhaps I should take my cue and stage direction from another statement by Hamlet: "The rest is silence." Hmmm.