By Lars Svendsen
It's been defined as a "tame longing with none specific object" via Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable affliction" by way of Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your international system" by means of Joseph Brodsky, yet nonetheless only a few folks this present day can clarify accurately what boredom is. A Philosophy of Boredom investigates one of many relevant preoccupations of our age because it probes the character of boredom, the way it originated, how and why it afflicts us, and why we won't appear to conquer it via any act of will.
Lars Svendsen brings jointly observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology, and pop culture, reading boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophical musings on boredom from Pascal to Nietzsche, and glossy explorations into alienation and transgression through twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and wonderful account of our dullest moments and such a lot maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will attract an individual curious to grasp what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of inaction.
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Additional info for A Philosophy of Boredom
In the in-humanity of boredom we gain a perspective on our own humanity. typologies of boredom Much boredom derives from repetition. I am often bored, for example, when I go to museums and galleries and only find pale imitations of works I have seen already far too many times. I am bored when I hear a lecture for the fourth time, and I am bored when I give a lecture for the fourth time. It can happen that one accepts assignments one is not really qualified for, simply because one will surely learn something new in the process.
Levons l’ancre! Ce pays nous ennuie, ô Mort! Appareillons! Si le ciel et la mer sont noirs comme de l’encre, Nos cœurs que tu connais sont remplis de rayons! Verse-nous ton poison pour qu’il nous réconforte! Nous voulons, tant ce feu nous brûle le cerveau, Plonger au fond du gouffre, Enfer ou Ciel, qu’importe? Au fond de l’Inconnu pour trouver du nouveau! O Death, old captain, the time has come! Let’s raise the anchor! This country wearies us, O Death! We’ll hoist the sail! Even if both heaven and sea are inky black, Our hearts, how well you know, are filled with light.
In general it is thought that the interestingness and novelty of the time-content are what ‘make the 55 time pass’; that is to say, shorten it; whereas monotony and emptiness check and restrain its flow. This is only true with reservations. Vacuity, monotony, have, indeed, the property of lingering out the moment and the hour and of making them tiresome. But they are capable of contracting and dissipating the larger, the very large time-units, to the point of reducing them to nothing at all. And conversely, a full and interesting content can put wings to the hour and the day; yet it will lend to the general passage of time a weightiness, a breadth and solidity which cause the eventful years to flow far more slowly than those poor, bare, empty ones over which the wind passes and they are gone.
A Philosophy of Boredom by Lars Svendsen