Darkness Visible Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why was depression such a hard thing for Styron in 1985?

Depression was very hard for Styron to endure in 1985 because medicines had not been discovered to treat it. Doctors didn't really know what to do for it.

2. Why did Cino del Duca, whom the award was named for, decide to publish works of literary merit?

Cino del Duca was tired of publishing comic books and became a philanthropist, wanting to do something for humankind. He decided to publish works of literary merit instead of what was considered frivolous comic books.

3. What happened to Styron's first work and what was its title?

Styron's first work was translated by Cino del Duca and published in France. Its title was "Lie Down In Darkness," but was given a French title in translation.

4. What did Styron say about someone being able to describe depression?

Styron said that it was impossible to describe depression, and impossible to understand by anyone who had not experienced it in its severest form. He said further that the "blues" or "doldrums" that people experience from time to time as life gets hard is nothing compared to true depression.

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