Outrage, amusement, confusion: These were the emotions that raced through my mind as I sat in my car on Hennepin Ave on a sunny morning last week.
For those of you that don’t speak French, a quick translation:
Ennui = Boredom
I couldn’t help but recall, with slight glee, the old French fable illustrating the Mal du Siècle. The story described a spoiled, young, aristocratic Frenchman who searches endlessly for a cure for his boredom.
“René is a young man who was suffering from the moral malady known as “le mal du siècle”. This was an “état d’âme” that was not uncommon during the first half of the nineteenth century, and that was often copied and idealized in literature [do Vanity Plates count?]. It was largely boredom [God, being filthy rich is so boring!]. Other manifestations were: melancholy of an aristocratic type, precocious apathy, discouragement without cause, distaste for living. The will seemed paralyzed by the contemplation of life’s struggle.”