Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(786 words)

1. Definition

In the 16th century, the German term Langeweile was used as a general designation for long periods of time, but it was also already in use to describe a state that impairs a person’s physical and mental well-being. In contrast to Kurzweil (amusement; Sport), which could be brought about by edifying and pleasurable activities, Langeweile threw individuals back on themselves, producing lethargy and imbalance. In theological discussion, it was presented as…

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Fuchs, Ralf-Peter, “Spleen”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 26 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023124>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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