Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226768533 Published February 1995
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226768540 Published June 1996

Boredom

The Literary History of a State of Mind

Patricia Meyer Spacks

Patricia Meyer Spacks

304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1995
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226768533 Published February 1995
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226768540 Published June 1996
This book offers a witty explanation of why boredom both haunts and motivates the literary imagination. Moving from Samuel Johnson to Donald Barthelme, from Jane Austen to Anita Brookner, Spacks shows us at last how we arrived in a postmodern world where boredom is the all-encompassing name we give our discontent. Her book, anything but boring, gives us new insight into the cultural usefulness—and deep interest—of boredom as a state of mind.
Contents
Acknowledgments
1: Reading, Writing, and Boredom
2: Vacuity, Satiety, and the Active Life: Eighteenth-Century Men
3: The Consciousness of the Dull: Eighteenth-Century Women, Boredom, and
Narrative
4: "Self is a Tiresome Subject": Personal Records of Eighteenth-Century
Women
Interlude: The Problem of the Interesting
5: "A Dull Book is Easily Renounced": How the Interesting Turns Boring
6: The Normalization of Boredom: Nineteenth-Century Women and Their
Fictions
7: Society and Its Discontents: Cultural Contexts of Nineteenth-Century
Boredom
8: The Ethics of Boredom: Modernism and Questions of Value
9: Cultural Miasma: Postmodern Enlargements of Boredom
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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