A philosophy of boredom by Lars Svendsen, John Irons

By Lars Svendsen, John Irons

It has been defined as a "tame longing with none specific item" by way of Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable ailment" by means of Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your international procedure" through Joseph Brodsky, yet nonetheless only a few people this present day can clarify accurately what boredom is. A Philosophy of Boredom investigates one of many valuable 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 by way 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 glossy explorations into alienation and transgression via 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 understand what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of inactivity.

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36 boredom and death Is modern life first and foremost an attempt to escape from boredom? Boredom enforces a movement towards transcending barriers, which in Baudelaire is mainly identified with perversities and the new. And Les Fleurs du mal ends in ‘Le Voyage’, where death is the only new thing that remains: Ô Mort, vieux capitaine, il est temps! levons l’ancre! Ce pays nous ennuie, ô Mort! Appareillons! Si le ciel et la mer sont noirs comme de l’encre, Nos cœurs que tu connais sont remplis de rayons!

All movement has come to a standstill, and everything stands still in the same way. Nothing says anything to me. 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.

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. It carries out schematism like a service for the customer . . 68 I believe that boredom is the result of a lack of personal meaning, and that this to a great extent is due precisely to the fact that all objects and actions come to us fully coded, while we – as the descendants of Romanticism – insist on a personal meaning.

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