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Description - A Philosophy of Boredom by Lars Svendsen

Although boredom is something that we have all suffered from at some point in our lives, and has become one of the central preoccupations of our age, very few of us can explain precisely what it is. In this book Lars Svendsen examines the nature of boredom, how it originated, its history, how and why it afflicts us, and why we cannot seem to overcome it by any act of will. A diverse and vague phenomenon, described as anything from 'tame longing without any particular object' (Schopenhauer), 'a bestial and indefinable affliction' (Dostoevsky), to 'time's invasion of your world system' (Joseph Brodsky), boredom allows many interpretations. In exploring these, Lars Svendsen brings together observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology and popular culture, examining boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophies of the subject from Pascal to Nietzsche, and modern related concepts of alienation and transgression, taking in texts by Samuel Beckett, J. G. Ballard, Andy Warhol and many others. He also puts forward an ethics for boredom, discussing what stance one can adopt towards boredom as well as how one ought not to do so. This book arose from the author's attempt to relax and do nothing. Finding this impossible, he thought it better to do something, so he wrote A Philosophy of Boredom. A witty and entertaining account that considers a serious issue, it will appeal to anyone who has ever felt bored, and wanted to know why.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781861892171
ISBN-10: 1861892179
Format: Paperback
(200mm x 120mm x mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Reaktion Books
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Lars Svendsen

Lars Fr. H. Svendsen is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen, Norway. He is the author of many books including Man, Morals and Genes: A Critique of Biologism (2001) and The Philosophy of Evil (2001). The translator, John Irons, was awarded the prestigious NORLA prize in 2007.

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