boredom: waiting for something to happen

and so it is so Modern boredom. Deep-seated boredom. The suspension of relations with reality and its replacement mined from the depths of the netherworld splitting into variations of nothingness; a world without meaning, without autonomy and without larger connections to the world at large. The pathology of the inability to love? As Buber said, a broad meaninglessness ruling without bounds. A paranoid state, a boredom grimacing in hallucinations in full retreat from imaginative values. Intense, irritating, anguished, desperate: a bubbling violence under the lethargy.

Lucian Freud.---It wasn’t always that boredom was roundly ignored. Great thinkers such as Blaise Pascal, Søren Kierkegaard, and Martin Heidegger understood boredom “and they believed that boredom matters,” says Raposa. Pascal and Kierkegaard cast boredom in religious terms; if we pay attention to boredom, we’ll realize our need for God, the ultimate source of all meaning. Heidegger expressed a similar idea, though not in religious language. “He thought boredom fosters a kind of healthy detachment,” Raposa says. “If we stick with our boredom and listen to it, we may feel empty, but it can lead to a peaceful equanimity, a freedom from the pull of particular things.” --- Read More:

Boredom. Perhaps at the base of what Arendt called the banality of evil; something intrinsically nihilistic and outside the purview of love, even beyond what Benjamin would call a negative utopianism. A sumission to the most dreaded aspects of Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence where overcoming the inertia of being inactive is simply not even considered. To a large extent, boredom is a result of affluence and almost creates a boredom industry as the individual is herded like cattle up the Maslow hierarchy of needs, purchasing the necessary ingredients of self-actualization at each way station, kitsch replicas of stations of the cross translated into commercial transaction. Affluence.

It’s a kind of expressive sterility, a frigidness, a coldness ; and likely more significantly,  the substitution of spiritual suffering and aspiration by desire, wants, and intellectualized boredom. The ingenuity of post-modern marketing  is that of  sustained boredom passing itself off as profound contemplation. Its okay. I’m okay, you’re okay. Yoga. Zen. Whatever.  Repeating “om” at regular intervals  seems like a guaranteed  way to experience nirvana, even timelessness, or instead,  imagining oneself into thinking one has.Delusion. Yeah. There’s an app for that too.

Flameng Francois.---Heine:Yes, if you meet Englishmen in a foreign country, you see their defects quite glaringly through the contrast. They are the gods of boredom, who hunt through all countries post-haste in shiny black carriages, and leave a gray dustcloud of gloom behind them everywhere they go. And then you have their disinterested curiosity, their well-washed dowdiness, their impertinent stupidity, their awkward selfishness, and their dreary joy in all melancholy subjects. Read More: image:

Sean Desmond Healy: “between feelings of tedium that are at least in principle conscious responses to specific irritants that tend to goad one into escape (‘simple’ boredom), and a deep-seated agony…which is brought on by an all-inclusive, persisting perception of what is taken to be one’s existential situation (‘hyperboredom’). In the simple type, there is a temporary discomfort in the midst of an existence that is usually congenial, or at least possessed of meaning; in hyperboredom, there is a more or less complete withholding of assent to existence, positively or negatively. The former one might liken to seasickness: acutely distressing and all-encompassing while the cause persists, almost immediately and quite harmlessly ended with the removal of the cause. The latter would be comparable to an agonizing and chronically painful disease, possibly incurable, in some cases ending in death.”

---Millais---This painting is inspired by a poem by Tennyson, and explores women's dependence on marriage. Mariana's dowry has been lost at sea, and she has thus been abandoned by her fiance Angelo, forced into a nunlike existence. An image of lassitude, boredom, ennui, and sexual frustration.--- Read More:

…The problem of boredom — or hyperboredom — can become so severe that nothing brings relief. “The problem,” Healy observes, “then becomes not just the absence of a desired outlet for an impulse, or the presence of undesired ones, as in the ‘normal’ state, but the nagging desire for something, the nature of which is forever hidden.”  Healy quotes the Freudian analyst Ralph Greenson:

At the behest of the superego, certain instinctual aims and/or objects have to be repressed. This step results in a feeling of tension. At this point, if the ego has to inhibit fantasies and thought derivatives of these impulses because they are also too threatening, we have as a consequence a feeling of emptiness…as a kind of hunger…since the individual does not know for what he is hungry, he now turns to the external world with the hope that it will provide the missing aim and/or object. I believe that it is this state of affairs which is characteristic for all boredom.Read More:

Delacroix. Women of Algiers. 1834. Read More:htt


In his essay on Proust, Samuel Beckett writes, “The pendulum oscillates between these two terms: Suffering — that opens a window on the real and is the main condition of the artistic experience, and Boredom — with its host of top-hatted and hygienic ministers, Boredom that must be considered as the most tolerable because the most durable of human evils…. The periods of transition that separate consecutive adaptations…represent the perilous zones in the life of the individual, dangerous, precarious, painful, mysterious and fertile, when for a moment the boredom of living is replaced by the suffering of being.” Read More:

---and to such a point that we don’t realize how ugly they are. And if the day ever comes when we become entirely accustomed to them, it will be the end of a civilization which gave us the Parthenon and the cathedral of Rouen. Then men will commit suicide from boredom or else kill each other off, just for the pleasure of it." Renoir’s son notes: "We know that in Renoir’s opinion the ugliness of buildings towards the end of the 19th century and the vulgarity of design in articles in common use were a far greater danger than wars."--- Read More:

…Societies while away time collecting gadgets, proliferating technologies, and being ceaselessly busy. As Marjorie Grene observes in an article on Heidegger, “We are more concerned with beings, from genes to space ships, than with our true calling, which is to be shepherds and watchers of Being. So it is that we are lost, and Being itself has become a haze and an error — nothing.”

Healy notes that in the last couple hundred years there has been a process “first of dedivinizing man, then of dehumanizing things, and finally of derealizing things.”  Objects have been “to a considerable degree stripped of their humanized, domesticated quality.” There is no longer a spiritual or intimate connection with our surroundings.Read More:

Joel-Peter Witkin. ---In the end, however, Kafka’s fiction underscores not only K.’s own spiritual vacuum but also the incurable inertia that, as Buber states, “is the root of all evil.” Of course, Kafka should not be dismissed as an “unredeemed Jew” or as one totally oblivious of Jewish religious life or of religious life in general. The point is that he is not truly religious in his soul or in his rendered vision. “I was not led into life by the sinking hand of Christianity, like Kierkegaard,” he confesses, “nor did I catch the last of the Jewish prayer-shawl before it flew away, like the Zionists. I am the end or the beginning.”--- Read More: image:

He started to tidy his messy writing table and was startled to realize that at a moment like this he was able to devote himself to such meaningless activity. What did he care whether the table was messy or not? And why had he handed out his card just now to a complete stranger? But he was not able to stop himself: he pushed all the books to one side of the table, crumpled up envelopes from old letters and threw them in the wastepaper basket. He realized that this is just the way a person acts when disaster strikes: like a sleepwalker. The inertia of the everyday keeps him on the rails of life.( Kundera, Immortality )

…Baudelaire presented his new subject matter in a defiant poetic idiom. The first poem of The Flowers of Evil, “To the Reader,” invites the reader to identify with the poet and with the beggars and prostitutes he describes. We all take what clandestine pleasure we can, he writes, “Like an exhausted rake who mouths and chews / The martyrized breast of an old withered whore.” If only we had more guts, he suggests, we would all be rapists, murders, and arsonists. Our evil arises not so much from the enticements of Satan as from the most typical of modern vices, Boredom (“L’Ennui”): “[Boredom] in his hookah-dreams, / Produces hangmen and real tears together, / How well you know this fastidious monster, reader, / —Hypocrite reader, you—my double! my brother!” Baudelaire here celebrates the evil lurking inside the average reader, in an attitude far removed from the social concerns typical of realism.Read More:

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