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 smooth explorations into alienation and transgression through twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and enjoyable 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 inactivity.
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Extra info for A philosophy of boredom
But the concept of meaning I am referring to has a further perspective, because we are talking about a meaning that is inextricably linked to being a meaning for someone. Peter Wessel Zapffe attempted to articulate a concept of meaning: That an action or some other fragment of life has meaning means that it gives us a quite specific feeling that is not easy to translate into thought. 65 29 This is an odd sort of definition, but it contains the vital element – that this meaning is related to a person’s goaloriented use of the world.
But man did not fulfil the role of a god all that successfully. ’ In the absence of God man assumed the role of gravitational centre for meaning – but this was a role he managed to fill only to a small extent. boredom, work and leisure Boredom is connected to reflection, and in all reflection there is a tendency towards a loss of world. Reflection decreases via diversions, but this will always be a passing phenomenon. Work is often less boring than diversions are, but the person 33 who advocates work as a cure for boredom is confusing a temporary removal of the symptoms with curing a disease.
This is also evident in 51 today’s psychological investigations. Such an approach is unsatisfactory because it overlooks the possibility that the outside world – rather than the person – is the problem, or disallows that the world plays any decisive role at all. Boredom is not just a phenomenon that afflicts individuals; it is, to just as great an extent, a social and cultural phenomenon. from pascal to nietzsche The most prominent early theoretician of boredom is Pascal. He also forms a suitable transition from acedia to boredom since he so closely links boredom to a theological complex of problems.