The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

When a friend recommended the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows to me, I couldn’t resist illustrating some of the definitions for unusual and very specific emotions. ‘Sonder’ is my first work of this series; “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”. What would this feeling look like? Walking through the grey, homogenous crowd of people every day, thinking about the potentially vivid lives of strangers hit me like exploding flower bouquets.

Sonder, n.

Other works of this series include the phenomenons “Kairosclerosis” and “Catoptric Tristesse“. The dictionary is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig and awaits the reader with an astonishing number of different words. Not only the terms itself are a sophisticatedly composed conglomerate of English, Latin, Greek German and French, but the definitions are rather poetic and I’m pretty sure there is an entry for everyone who wants to find themselves among the blurry lines between dictionary and poetry.

kairosclerosis, n.

catoptric tristesse

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