Klexos: The Art of Dwelling on the Past

July 6, 2015 § 6 Comments

Klexos_The_Art_of_Dwelling_on_the_PastAt The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, John Koenig has created a compendium of invented words.

Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.

Words that appear to have classical origins are given beautiful, gemlike definitions:


n. the desire to be struck by disaster—to survive a plane crash, to lose everything in a fire, to plunge over a waterfall—which would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life, and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other.

And some have miniature art films to illustrate their concept, such as klexos, ‘the art of dwelling in the past.’

There are ways of thinking about the past that aren’t just nostalgia or regret–a kind of questioning that enriches the experience after the fact…

As memoirists and essay writers, the video for klexos is a gorgeous way to start your morning and think about your work–even if, as Koenig recommends, “All content is intended to be read at night.”


Allison K Williams is Brevity’s Social Media Editor and the author of Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro from Blank Page to Book. Want writing news, events, and upcoming webinars? Join the A-List!

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§ 6 Responses to Klexos: The Art of Dwelling on the Past

  • Beth says:

    It isn’t night here, but the morning is so dark I believe Koenig would say it qualifies. I can’t begin to imagine the technical part of how Klexos: The Art of Dwelling on the Past was created, but I’m going to replay it now, then drink coffee and time travel backward for a while on this stormy day.

    Sometimes a work of art in words appears to you at just the right moment; something more than serendipity. Maybe Koenig has created a word for this. Maybe I’ll find it in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, to which I’ve just subscribed.

  • Jayne Martin says:

    Absolutely exquisite. Thank you for posting this.

  • skurtzonline says:

    Reblogged this on SkurtzOnline and commented:
    klexos… say it with them… now

  • bigsurwriter says:

    Thank you Allison! What a wonderful film and great insight.

  • ninagaby says:

    Whats the word for when you have to do some writing or other stuff and you only have a little bit of time but you have to go on Facebook first and then you end up checking out Brevity and then you find this guy and then you end up late for work? There’s gotta be a word for that.

  • I just found what I was looking for, something to put into words what I have been thinking. This piece was so helpful to me. Thanks Louise

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