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 glossy explorations into alienation and transgression via 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 inactivity.
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Additional info for A philosophy of boredom
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. , 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.
When he says that ‘new habits are the only way of keeping our life going’, this only helps to maintain the inner logic of boredom. Here, Mann jumps right into the issue that defines Kant’s aesthetes. A few brief remarks concerning the aesthete. Kierkegaard’s aesthete in Either/Or is a Romantic, trapped in a lifestyle in which he is constantly trying to escape from boredom by outdoing previous pleasures. He only has one ambition in life, to transform the boring into something interesting, thereby re-creating the world in his own image.
Each occupation had created its own mentality, its own way of being. A doctor would think differently from a peasant, a soldier would behave in a different way from a teacher. Today we’re all alike, all of us bound together by our shared apathy towards our work. That very apathy has become a passion. 75 Kundera is considerably romanticizing the past here, but, even so, I believe has got hold of something essential in drawing attention to the levelling out of differences and the resulting indifference.