The postcard that is the subject of this weltschmerz reverie is VIEW THROUGH SOUTH PARK, ROCHESTER, N. Y., an unused, undivided-back (printed before March 1, 1907, when the undivided-back postcard era ended) postcard published by The Hugh C. Leighton Company, Manufacturers, Portland, Maine, U. S. A. and Frankfort o/Main, Germany. Number 10044. South Park, in the City of Rochester, New York (Monroe County) is now called Genesee Valley Park. South Park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. who also played a part (along with Daniel Burnham) in the landscape design of the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.
Weltschmerz in the park
Recently, Karen Resta of Postcards from the Dinner Table posted a series of postcards that conveyed a sense of weltschmerz. She had been inspired by the style of posts at Unhappy Hipsters, and referenced two in particular, of which my favorite is this one. Then, Evelyn Yvonne Theriault of A Canadian Family posted her idea of a weltschmerzian postcard. My contribution is based on the definition of weltschmerz found in my tattered copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary 2nd edition:
Weltschmerz n. [G., world pain] sentimental pessimism or melancholy over the state of the world.
Pierre set aside his palette and wandered away from the other artists, who were so gaily rendering their sunlit park scenes with little dots of cadmium yellow, bright green and cobalt blue. The murmuring of the brook seemed to softly call his name, and he waded into the cool liquid as though stepping back in time. His shimmering reflection reminded him of how much he had enjoyed painting impressions of the play of light across moving water; how he had guided the brush over the canvas with swift, long strokes.