By Lars Svendsen
It's been defined as a "tame longing with none specific object" by way of Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable affliction" by means of Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your global system" through Joseph Brodsky, yet nonetheless only a few folks at the present time can clarify accurately what boredom is. A Philosophy of Boredom investigates one of many imperative 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, 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 exciting account of our dullest moments and such a lot maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will attract somebody curious to understand what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of inaction.
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107 And the person who decides to adopt a negative attitude towards fashion by consciously deviating from it – for example, by being unmodern – is just as bound by fashion, because the personal style is simply defined as a negation of fashion. A fashion object does not strictly speaking need to have any quality except that of being new. 108 The quality of an object has to do with what sort of a thing it is, and an object without quality is an object without identity. For earlier societies, things were bearers of continuity and stability, but this is the diametric opposite of the principle of fashion.
At this point, I would just mention that an important difference between Zapffe’s and my concept of meaning is that he justifies it biologically, while I justify it more historically. As Zapffe also indicates, these actions also point forward to something more – to life as a whole. 66 This existential meaning can be sought in various ways and exists in various forms. g. g. a classless society). It is conceived as something collective or something individual. I would also assert that the conception of meaning that is particularly prevalent in the West from Romanticism onwards is that which conceives existential meaning as an individual meaning that has to be realized.
14 Further: The pleasures of life do not fill time but leave it empty. The human mind, however, feels detestation and discomfort in the presence of empty time. Present time can admittedly seem to us to be full, but in our memory it nevertheless appears to be empty, for when time is filled with diversions and the like, it only feels full while it is contemporaneous – in the memory it is empty. 15 A good argument against cheap diversions is memento mori – remember that you are going to die! , you think, and continue: about unlived life; not a grief or fear that after a while you will not be able to experience anything at all any more .
A Philosophy of Boredom by Lars Svendsen