John Banville and Brian Dillon in conversation with Lara Feigel

Melencolia I (engraving), Albrecht Dürer, 1514

Is melancholy, as Freud thought, an indulgent, unproductive form of mourning? Or can it be a form of sadness that is ultimately uplifting for the consciousness it brings of life and its more startling possibilities? Here John Banville and Brian Dillon, both melancholic writers with an interest in W.G. Sebald, will use the Melancholia: a Sebald Variation exhibition as a springboard to reflect on the theme of melancholia.

Lara Feigel will chair this free discussion, which will be followed by a drinks reception from 6.30-8pm in the Great Hall, King’s College London.

For further details about the event and to book, visit

Listen to the conversation here

For further information on the exhibition, see Dr Feigel’s September 2017 article ‘Kind of blue: making sense of melancholia‘ in the Financial Times.