Download A philosophy of boredom by Lars Svendsen, John Irons PDF

By Lars Svendsen, John Irons

It has been defined as a "tame longing with none specific item" by means of Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable sickness" through Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your international procedure" via 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 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 can't appear to conquer it via any act of will.

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 glossy explorations into alienation and transgression by means of twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and pleasing account of our dullest moments and so much maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will attract somebody curious to grasp what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of inactivity.

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101 This apparently vague description is actually very precise. Boredom is practically indefinable because it lacks the positiveness that is typical of most other phenomena. It is basically to be understand as an absence – an absence of personal meaning. And, as I shall say later in my discussion of Heidegger’s analysis of boredom, this loss of meaning reduces human life to something analogous to an existence that is purely animal. 102 This applies to situative boredom, where it is something specific, or the lack of something specific, that bores one.

82 What boredom is to have is that it provides some sort of perspective on existence, where one realizes that one is completely insignificant in such a vast context. Joseph Brodsky reckons that ‘boredom speaks today’s language, and it will teach you your life’s most important lesson . . ’ 83 As a finite being, one is surrounded by an infinity of a time that is devoid of content. The experiencing of time changes, with the past and future disappearing and everything becoming a merciless now. ’ In that respect, boredom seems heavenly.

And tedium is more oppressive when there’s not the excuse of idleness. The tedium of those who strive hard is the worst of all. Tedium is not the disease of being bored because there’s nothing to do, but the more serious disease of feeling that there’s nothing worth doing. This means that the more there is to do, the more tedium one will feel. How often, when I look up from the ledger where I enter accounts, my head is devoid of the whole world! I’d be better off remaining idle, doing nothing and having nothing to do, because that tedium, though real enough, 34 I could at least enjoy.

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