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A Philosophy of Boredom
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For nearly four hours my eyes were glued to the pages of Svendsen's amazing book, and then finally, after many tears and shrilly screams, I managed to pull them off the paper without ripping the sensitive skin on my eyelids and actually read the book. And what a book it turned out to be!
It's everything you ever wanted to know about boredom and more, even though there are no directions on how to make paper airplanes or origami mustaches, although images of Nietzsche's glorious mustache kept coming to mind and making my upper lip itch as he was discussed in various parts of this book.
You'll be astounded at how Svendsen explores the once dark and mysterious subject of boredom like a spelunker in a cave, and ultimately emerges in the end holding a few stalactites of truth that were formed by the seemingly endless and measured drips of water that make us aware that time is passing, and also how small and insignificant we are in comparison to this cave called life.
This book will change your outlook on boredom, life, and Kierkegaard's inability to grow a mustache (Ok, so maybe not), and it will enlighten you in a way that is both entertaining and entertaining. Did I mention that this book is entertaining? Well it is, so if you are in the mood to think and be dazzled by a modern day philosophical giant, then I suggest you pick up a copy of this book.
That said, I cannot say this is a groundbreaking work which will change the way you look at the world, *however*, I have personally certainly gotten some insights in the way one /can/ (Svendsen tries to be careful not to judge; more on that later) think about the way people handle "existential" boredom. Svendsen starts by trying to give some possible definitions for the boredom he'd like to discuss, which is very interesting already. Part two, Stories of Boredom, I didn't find particularly interesting, although I guess it could all make sense if you've actually read the work Svendsen refers to.
Don't misunderstand the three stars I'm giving this book. It is a book about boredom, and that doesn't make the book very attractive. However, I have very much enjoyed the thoughts in this book while waiting for the bus to arrive and while waiting for my turn at the dentist - ie., when I was bored. If you're studying philosophy already and have read the works Svendsen uses a long time ago, this book may be less interesting than if you're looking for a quick intro to this subject.
Do note that this is not a self-help book. Svendsen gives some thoughts on what existential boredom is, and where it could have originated, but does not in a direct sense give solutions. To quote the preface, "[...] I intend to present less of a cohesive argument, more a series of sketches that will hopefully bring us closer to an understanding of boredom.Read more ›