Qty:1
  • List Price: $30.00
  • Save: $1.50 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good - Standard used condition book with the text inside being clean and unmarked - Exterior of the book shows shelf and reading wear
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $0.35
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind Paperback – June 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0226768540 ISBN-10: 0226768546 Edition: 1st

Buy New
Price: $28.50
30 New from $11.90 30 Used from $9.38
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$28.50
$11.90 $9.38

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind + Boredom: A Lively History + A Philosophy of Boredom
Price for all three: $66.24

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226768546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226768540
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,876,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this fascinating study of the trope of boredom in fiction and the reality of boredom in life, Spakes, a scholar of 18th-century literature, shows how writers use boredom as a metonym for an ethical stance. Thus, Samuel Johnson regards boredom as a personal flaw to be resisted by the individual sufferer. Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads equates the reader's interest with the moral imagination. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte depict the boring female life of the 19th century to argue against the restrictions society placed on women. Thackeray's Vanity Fair finds boredom preferable to Becky Sharp's evil. Baudelaire maintains that the sensitive soul is bored by society's corruption, and Anita Brookner extends the modernist view to depict life as inherently boring. Spacks offers fine close readings and trenchant social commentary. She presents material that will interest social historians as well as students of literature from the 18th to the 20th century.
Joseph Rosenblum, Guilford Technical Community Coll., Jamestown, N.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The author of Gossip (1986) tackles the subject of boredom in this lively and unusual treatise. Spacks analyzes the evolution of boredom as both a cultural and literary phenomenon during the course of the last three centuries. Fascinating examinations of boredom as a moral proposition, an ethical dilemma, a catalyst for the imagination, and a precursor to literary innovation are provided. According to the author, the psychic, social, and literary merits and implications of boredom are manifest in daily life and have helped determine the shape and the direction of modern society. Anything but dull, this engaging narrative offers an original and enlightening perspective on a much maligned and misunderstood state of mind. Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By asphodel@iaccess.com.au on March 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
After researching the topic of chronic boredom myself for the past four years it was gratifying to finally come accross a text that dealt with the problem from the perspective of women writers, thinkers and culture critics from the Enlightenment on. The great literary text on the topic by Reinhard Kuhn 'The Demon of Noontide: Ennui in Western Literature' did not deal with much of the material here covered by Spacks - though it dealt with just about everything else associated with the topic. Spacks' treatment of the topic mixes analysis of high literary texts with analysis of other cultural discourses often ignored by the traditional modernist culture critic. The consequence is that the voices of hundreds of women - and not merely middle and upperclass women - who have suffered from the malady since the 18th century are heard for the first time. But Spacks' work offers much more to the reader than a female perspective on an old malaise. Her particular emphasis is delivered within the broad tradition of writings on the topic and as such she never loses the overview. Her work provides a scholarly reinterpretation of this much underestimated phenomenon. Chronic boredom, as Healy, Kuhn, Klapp, George Steiner and now Spack's tells us, is one of the great maladies of the twentieth century. At its worst it is one of the most crippling 'maladies of the subject' and clearly, as Spacks seems to suggest, it is often generated by oppressive (subtly or otherwise) social structures. To read Spacks' work alongside Kuhn's is to gain a full overview of a malaise that has been with us since Lucretius and Seneca, but which threatens, more than ever before, to sap personal and social existence of all meaning, and spirit (elan vitale). Spacks' work does not bore, however. Why?Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "bibliophile_ca" on October 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is anything but boring; it's one of the most fascinating I've read in a long time. Spacks examines the idea of boredom, its genesis and implications, and forces readers to acknowledge that it is a culturally constructed concept, not a naturally occurring one. She historicises the word and the assumptions about the world that it reflects. The fact that most of us can't conceive of the world or our response to it without this category of experience only reinforces her point of how much it has become naturalised. But it reinforces a deadening passivity in our experience of life. The statement "I'm bored!" says much more about the person who is bored than it says about the ostensible cause of the boredom. Read Spacks and learn to pay active attention again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sounds exciting, but actually, well, boring, mostly because the author fails to distinguish between two very different claims: first, that boredom, the state of mind, didn't exist until recently, and second, that it wasn't talked about much until recently. The first claim would be exciting and bizarre, but the argument at most supports the second.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By HK on July 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was a little more shabby than I expected for "good", but for this prize it was OK and the package/postage reliable and fast.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?