The following post was written by library student assistant Bella Castro.
Brian Treanor is a well-beloved and respect philosophy professor at Loyola Marymount University. On February 21, we had the pleasure of hosting Treanor at Faculty Pub Night, where he featured his new book, “Melancholic Joy: On Life Worth Living.” Treanor’s presentation was highly impactful as well as inspiring. He touched on numerous topics that are pertinent to our world today, and explained them in such an eloquent manner.
My main takeaway from Treanor’s presentation was that, yes, we live in a world where there is evil, that is inevitable, and it is also important to recognize the beauty that surrounds us, whether that be in nature or in the people we love. Treanor talked a significant amount about living a life of “and” rather than a life of “but.” Why? Because living a life of “and” allows you to acknowledge your pain or whatever you are feeling, while simultaneously understanding that there is still a great deal of good in the world to celebrate. Treanor also touched on the fact that taking away even one element of life, has the ability to cause a range of destruction for anything that relied on that element.
It is impossible to live in a world where there is only good, because on a daily basis people are diagnosed with an illness or there are forest fires, but this does not mean that we should dwell on sadness. Through the use of poetry and literature, Treanor is able to give specific examples of how melancholic joy is something that we as humans just have to accept. The presentation given by Treanor was flawless and opened my eyes to a new perspective in terms of how I should view the world. I left this presentation with a feeling of hope, so you can only imagine what you would feel after reading “Melancholic Joy: On Life Worth Living”, which is an absolutely amazing book.