Lars Svendsen's A Philosophy of Boredom PDF

By Lars Svendsen

ISBN-10: 1861892179

ISBN-13: 9781861892171

It's been defined as a "tame longing with none specific object" through 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 people at the present time 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 can't appear to triumph over it through any act of will.

Lars Svendsen brings jointly observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology, and pop culture, studying boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophical musings on boredom from Pascal to Nietzsche, and glossy explorations into alienation and transgression by way of 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 an individual curious to grasp what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of state of no activity.

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Sample text

Of course, there is still meaning, but there seems to be less of it. Information, on the other hand, there is plenty of. Modern media have made an enormous search for knowledge possible – something that undeniably has positive aspects, but by far the most of it is irrelevant noise. If, on the other hand, we choose to use the word ‘meaning’ in a broad sense, there is no lack of meaning in the world – there is a superabundance. We positively wade through meaning. But this meaning is not the meaning we are looking for.

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. 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.

We positively wade through meaning. But this meaning is not the meaning we are looking for. The emptiness of time in boredom is not an emptiness of action, for there is always something in this time, even if it is only the sight of paint drying. The emptiness of time is an emptiness of meaning. Horkheimer and Adorno made a point that is close to Benjamin’s assertion concerning the growth of information. In continuation of Kant’s theory of interpretation, schematism, they wrote that The contribution that Kantian schematism still expected of the subjects – relating in advance the sensory diversity to the underlying concepts – was taken from them by industry.

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A Philosophy of Boredom by Lars Svendsen

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