By Lars Svendsen, John Irons
Lars Svendsen brings jointly observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology, and pop culture, interpreting boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophical musings on boredom from Pascal to Nietzsche, and sleek explorations into alienation and transgression via twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and exciting account of our dullest moments and so much maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will entice a person curious to understand what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of inactivity.
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Extra resources for A philosophy of boredom
73 Pessoa is right in saying that hard work is often just as boring as idleness. I have personally never been so bored as when I was in the process of completing a large dissertation after several years of work. The work bored me so much that I had to mobilize all my will in order to continue, and all that I felt in doing so was a tremendous tiredness. The work seemed to me to be completely meaningless, and I completed it almost like an automaton. When I handed in the dissertation I felt an enormous sense of relief, and thought that I would find life more meaningful again, now that I could be idle.
Everything is poten37 tially visible – nothing is hidden. We can speak of a pan-transparency, where everything is transparent. The transparency and the packaged interpretations of the world are interrelated. , an already existing interpretation that empties it of secrets. The world becomes boring when everything is transparent. That is why some people hanker for what is dangerous and shocking. They have replaced the non-transparent by the extreme. That is probably why many are so obsessed with the ‘street violence’ and ‘blind violence’ that the tabloid press thrives on reporting.
But in that case the ego can be lord and master of everything . 43 The problem is that if it is up to me to ascribe or deny significance and value at will, these things will lose their value and significance, because these are now not inherent in the things themselves and thus become empty. Because there is no substantial distinction between the significant and the insignificant, everything becomes equally interesting and as a result equally boring. Hegel continues: If the ego remains at this standpoint, everything appears to it as null and vain, except its own subjectivity which therefore becomes hollow and empty and itself mere vanity.
A philosophy of boredom by Lars Svendsen, John Irons