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Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind

Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind
Author: Patricia Meyer Spacks
ISBN 13: 9780226768540
ISBN 10: 226768546
Edition: 1
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 1996-06-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $32.00

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.


Offers a witty literary explanation of why boredom, as malady or inspiration, should be as important an issue as it is in our culture. Investigating boredom's imaginative functions since the figure of the "bore" first entered the language in the 18th century, Spacks (English, U. of Virginia) reveals the shifting cultural purposes served by this often lamented state. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)