Out of humor: an obsolete but actual condition

Recently I was diagnosed with a disorder of the humors.* By a licensed gastroenterologist and everything.

The bile thinners notwithstanding, I honestly can’t think of a verdict that would’ve pleased me more. So Aristotelian, so Elizabethan, so hypochondriacal and tied in with my mother’s weird religious ordering of the world.

“I’m surprised they didn’t find fire and brimstone in there,” my friend Carrie joked. Oh my God, me too.

I need to visit the Folger Shakespeare Library for a close-up look at The Optike Glasse of Humours, “a guide to the system underlying science and psychology in Renaissance Europe. According to the theory of humours, the human mind and body are intricately connected to the physical universe.”

* Translation: I am bilious.


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