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Boredom

emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and not interested in their surroundings

Boredom is a reactive state of emotion that interprets the condition of one's environment as wearingly dull due to repetitive, non-existent or tedious stimuli. Boredom stems from a lack of interesting things to see, hear, or do (physically or intellectually) when not in the mood of "doing anything."

QuotesEdit

  • Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face.
    • Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories (1987), translated by Chris Turner (London: Verso, 1990), p. 100
  • If sleep is the apogee of physical relaxation, boredom is the apogee of mental relaxation. Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.
  • Isn't history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom?
    • Emile Cioran, Histoire et utopie ("History and Utopia") (1960)
  • Boredom helps one to make decisions.
  • Boredom is always counter-revolutionary. Always.
    • Guy Debord, The Incomplete Works of the Situationist International, The Bad Old Days Will End (Nov. 1963)
  • Boredom comes simply from ignorance and lack of imagination.
    • Susan Ertz, Anger in the Sky (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1943), p. 134
  • Boredom is not an end product, is comparatively rather an early stage in life and art. You've got to go by or past or through boredom, as through a filter, before the clear product emerges.
  • But her life was as cold as an attic facing north; and boredom, like a silent spider, was weaving its web in the shadows, in every corner of her heart.
  • Man is the only animal that can be bored.
  • I am convinced that boredom is one of the greatest tortures. If I were to imagine Hell, it would be the place where you were continually bored.
    • Erich Fromm, The Dogma of Christ and Other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Culture (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963), p. 150
  • Boredom is boredom. There is nothing to do, deal with it.
  • Idleness, then, is so far from being the root of all evil that it is rather the true good. Boredom is the root of evil; it is that which must be held off.
  • Many felt there was something not quite right about a man who professed himself so profoundly bored with the subject of sport.
    • Neil McKenna, of Oscar Wilde, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, 2005, p. 4
  • In principio, dunque, era la noia, volgarmente chiamata caos. Iddio, annoiandosi della noia, creò la terra, il cielo, l'acqua, gli animali, le piante, Adamo ed Èva; i quali ultimi, annoiandosi a loro volta in paradiso, mangiarono il frutto proibito. Iddio si annoiò di loro e li cacciò dall'Eden.
    • Translation: In the beginning was boredom, commonly called chaos. God, bored with boredom, created the earth, the sky, the waters, the animals, the plants, Adam and Eve; and the latter, bored in their turn in paradise, ate the forbidden fruit. God became bored with them and drove them out of Eden.
    • Alberto Moravia, La noia (Milano: Bompiani, 1960), pp. 10-11; Angus Davidson (trans.), Boredom (New York: New York Review of Books, 1999), p. 8
  • Nous pardonnons souvent à ceux qui nous ennuient, mais nous ne pouvons pardonner à ceux que nous ennuyons.
    • Translation: We often forgive those who bore us, but never those whom we bore.
    • François Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims, Maxim 304 (1665–1678)
  • Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
    • Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness, Ch. 4: Boredom and Excitement (1930)
  • It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up from boredom.
    • Wallace Stevens, "The Irrational Element in Poetry" (December 1936), repr. in Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose, ed. Frank Kermode and Joan Richardson (New York: Library of America, 1997), p. 788
  • Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
  • The way to be bored is to know where you are going and the way to get there.
  • Soon he [Vronsky] felt rising in his soul a desire for desires — boredom.
  • The history of the world has been one not of conquest, as supposed; it has been one of ennui.
    • Helen Westley as quoted in "The Confessions of Helen Westley" by Djuna Barnes in New York Morning Telegraph Sunday Magazine (23 September 1917)
  • What excited me was the recognition that this was simply another version of the problem that had obsessed me all of my life -- the problem of those moments when life seems entirely delightful, when we experience a sensation of what G.K. Chesterton called "absurd good news." Life normally strikes most of us as hard, dull and unsatisfying; but in these moments, consciousness seems to glow and expand, and all the contradictions seem to be resolved. Which of the two visions is true? My own reflections had led me to conclude that the vision of "absurd good news" is somehow broader and more comprehensive than the feeling that life is dull, boring and meaningless. Boredom is basically a feeling of narrowness, and surely a narrow vision is bound to be less true than a broad one?
  • Once we can see how this question of freedom of the will has been vitiated by post-romantic philosophy, with its inbuilt tendency to laziness and boredom, we can also see how it came about that existentialism found itself in a hole of it’s own digging, and how the philosophical developments since then have amounted to walking in circles round that hole.

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