By Lars Svendsen
It's been defined as a "tame longing with none specific object" by way of Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable affliction" via Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your global system" by means of Joseph Brodsky, yet nonetheless only a few people at the present time can clarify accurately what boredom is. A Philosophy of Boredom investigates one of many significant 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 triumph over it by means of any act of will.
Lars Svendsen brings jointly observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology, and pop culture, analyzing boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophical musings on boredom from Pascal to Nietzsche, and smooth explorations into alienation and transgression by way of twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and unique account of our dullest moments and so much maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will entice somebody curious to grasp what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of state of no activity.
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Additional resources for A Philosophy of Boredom
In that case, it is work that provides a negative definition of freedom. Are we freer in our free time than during our time at work? We undeniably have a slightly different role, for while we are producers in our working hours, we are mainly consumers in our free time. However, one is not necessarily more free in the one role than in the other, and the one role is not necessarily more meaningful than the other. As mentioned, boredom is not a question of work or freedom but of meaning. 35 Work that does not give very much meaning in life is followed by free time that gives just as little meaning in life.
Nothing is known, though not because I find it strange but because I do not know what it is. The world has been lost. 1 The intention is for this chapter to have a relevance over and above the purely historical, for it describes various boredom strategies that are topical today. I also wish to indicate why I view most of these strategies as being mistaken – something I will return to in chapter Four. acedia: pre-modern boredom We saw earlier that Kierkegaard described boredom as ‘the root of all evil’.
So, pour out your poison, it will comfort us! As this fire boils our brains, we want to plumb The abyss’s depths – who cares if it’s heaven or hell? – To find, in the deep vaults of the unknown, the new! ’ 77 Events, no matter how unimportant they may be, take place surrounded by camera lenses and microphones, and they can be blown up to enormous proportions. 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.
A Philosophy of Boredom by Lars Svendsen