This paper has two parts. In Part I, it consists of a letter written by the subject of the ‘case study’ that forms the basis of Part II. Part I demonstrates how the writer Aliki Pavlou discovered that, in attempting to help a friend face uncomfortable truths in relation to his perception of his mother, she inadvertently was able to voice her own dilemma in relation to her mother that hitherto had been elusive. This paper forms a part of a larger project being researched by Aliki Pavlou, Justin Clemens and me. The study, to be entitled, "In the Heart of Hell: Depression and its Expression," is one that contends that Literature expresses the ineffable nature of depression in its symbolic mode; that, indeed, literary texts reveal in their concealment. The work therefore argues that ‘depression’ is expressible. Part II of this paper analyses the response of a depressive to Jean-Paul Sartre’s novel Nausea (1964). Beginning with a brief discussion of the role of the ‘mother’ as psychologically pivotal in some depressives’ struggle towards well-being, this section analyses a reading of Nausea by a depressive. The objective of this study was to ascertain the extent to which the condition of nausea, as represented in Sartre’s novel, expresses the experience of depression.
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