"An entertaining set of conversations with a bright star of philosophy."Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
"The pages are stuffed with reminiscence and intriguing passing ideas as well as more arguments (of greater or lesser plausability) than most books twice the length. The intellectual register soars and plunges in a pleasing rhythm."
Steven Poole, The Guardian
"Apart from his charming autobiography, Critchley is remarkably adept at clearly explaining quite difficult ideas."
Nina Power, Philosophers' Magazine
"Carl Cederstrom's book of interviews with Simon Critchley, reminded me that I was not the only tinnitus-blighted Scouser to be fighting the good fight for 'Continental' philosophy!"
Mark Thwaite, Ready Steady Book
"An indispensable resource to anyone interested in Critchley's writing."
A Piece of Monologue
"After reading this book, I was, I must admit, sorely tempted to answer Camus's famous question in the affirmative."
David Shields, author of Reality Hunger
From the Back Cover
The question of how to lead a happy and meaningful life has been atthe heart of philosophical debate since time immemorial. Today,however, these questions seem to be addressed not by philosophersbut self-help gurus, who frantically champion the individual'squest for self-expression and self-realization; the desire tobecome authentic.
Against these new age sophistries, How to Stop Living andStart Worrying tackles the question of 'how to live' by forcingus to explore our troubling relationship with death. For Critchley,philosophy begins with the question of finitude and with hisunderstanding of a key classical theme - that to philosophize is tolearn how to die. Learning how to accept both our own and others'mortality as a part of life also raises the question of how tolove. Critchley argues that the act of love requires us to give upsomething of ourselves, to lose control so as to be open to thedemands of love. We will never be equal to this demand and so weare brought face to face with our own limitations - one form ofwhich is what Critchley calls our 'originary inauthenticity'. Byscrutinizing the very nature of humour, Critchley explores what weneed to laugh at ourselves and presents the need to confront theinescapable ridiculousness of life.
Reflecting on the work of over 20 years, this book provides aunique, witty and erudite introduction to the thought of SimonCritchley. It includes a revealing biographical conversation withCritchley and a fascinating debate with the critically acclaimednovelist Tom McCarthy about the nature of authenticity. Takentogether the conversations give an intimate portrait of one of themost lucid, provocative and engaging philosophers writingtoday.