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The Idler's Glossary Paperback – October 15, 2008
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"This delightful chapbook proffers a puckish twofer: a whimsically learned defense of indolence and flaneurship...and an engagingly etymological lexicon of loafing, past and present."The Atlantic
"Mark Kingwell’s splendidly informative, substantial introductory essay tells us much about the multifarious benefits that accrue to those who idle; it alone makes The Idler’s Glossary worth reading."Nigel Beale
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The rest of the book I don't really get. It's a glossary of terms related to idling. It tries to be clever and amusing, but when you are writing a glossary, you are a bit constrained by how clever and amusing you can be. Again, I don't get it, so instead I'm going to talk about Kingwell's (standard-format, thank you) introduction.
1) One of Kingwell's tasks is to explain that there is a difference between not working and *failing* to work:
"The slacker in effect combines procrastination and boredom into a single experience, under the rubric of evasion. Procrastination, like boredom, involves a stall between first-order desires and second-order desires: both want to want to do something, but find they do not. They are stuck. The difference between them lies only in how they experience this stall, either as a burden of always putting things off (procrastination) or as a burden of not being excited (boredom).
The idler, by contrast, experiences no conflict or stall between desires and desires about those desires. He understands that not working and failing to work are conditions that lie poles apart, and the genius of idling is not its avoidance of work but rather its construction of a value system entirely independent of work."
2) But what exactly does it even mean to "work"?
"The work-ethic condemnation of idleness as unproductive is familiar; it is rooted in the even older notion that morose idleness is sinful, an insult to God's grace.Read more ›