The search for a stable definition of melancholy is itself melancholic, because the emotion is inscrutable, unknowable, shading into so many differing and conflicting emotions. It is the melancholic mind—ever probing into an idea that can never be fully known—that produces something akin to Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy—a book that stretches over a thousand pages in search of a definition without ever reaching it, a quixotic futility that enacts rather than defines melancholy. The only way to approach it is as an inexhaustible void, pointless and unproductive.