“Trace of a Feeling” / A Memorable Fancy #334

The terminology of emotions was codified: a list of official descriptors readied, confirmed by appropriate professional groups, published in a heavy tome and online as well. At first, this project was intended to help people think through their shifting and evanescent feelings, to label them, to know exactly when they were feeling Hate or Rage at their spouses, for example, instead of Love and Kindness. Each emotion was given a suitable binomial with two or three irrupting decimals.

The publication of this work became the topic of intense scholarly controversy. Several of the involved scientists experienced Hate or Rage when they spoke with each other. The average citizen, if he heard of these disputes, or even of the entire project, experienced Indifference.

[– after Walter Abish. The title is from “Strangers in Space” by Procol Harum]




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