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A Philosophy of Boredom by Lars Svendsen

By Lars Svendsen

It's been defined as a "tame longing with none specific object" by means of Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable affliction" by way of Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your international system" through Joseph Brodsky, yet nonetheless only a few people at the present time can clarify accurately what boredom is. A Philosophy of Boredom investigates one of many vital preoccupations of our age because it probes the character of boredom, the way it originated, how and why it afflicts us, and why we won't appear to triumph over it by means of any act of will.

Lars Svendsen brings jointly observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology, and pop culture, analyzing boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophical musings on boredom from Pascal to Nietzsche, and glossy explorations into alienation and transgression by means of twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and unique account of our dullest moments and so much maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will attract a person curious to grasp what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of state of no activity.

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The term ‘VFR tourism’ is also unsatisfactory because it underemphasizes the significances of visiting place, as if VFR tourism exclusively involves social travel without regard to location. Much early tourism theory defined the nature of tourism through some rather fixed dualisms: leisure as opposed to work, away as opposed to home, authenticity as opposed to inauthenticity, the extraordinary as opposed to the ordinary, and guest as opposed to host (Cohen 1972; MacCannell 1976; Smith 1978; Urry 1990/2002).

In particular among couples without children, longdistance relationships are common, especially because women pursue careers more or less as men do (Walby 1997; Holmes 2004, 190). Many dual-career couples will at one point live apart. In Britain, in the late 1990s there were 157,000 divorces; if this trend continues, 40 per cent of all marriages will end in divorce. 6 million lone parents. It is estimated that 7 per cent of all children live with a stepmother or stepfather. Most extended families involve one or more stepfamilies (Allan and Crow 2001, 25, 26, 34).

2001, 70) We may thus say that face-to-face meetings are not any longer just face-to-face; they are partly becoming virtual meetings. As Callon and Law maintain more generally, ‘presence is not reducible to copresence … copresence is both a location and a relation’ (2004, 6, 9). Communications are now rarely a sequence of purely face-toface-encounters within specific physical spaces (Katz and Aakhus 2002b; Licoppe 2004; Ling 2004). Mobile phone cultures generate small worlds of perpetual catching up and small talk on the move, blurring distinctions between presence and absence.

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