Boredom Is Everywhere

I find this a little hard to swallow, both that Charles Simic would be unable to entertain himself for a few days without his smart phone and that it took an enormous natural catastrophe to reunite him with boredom.

I thought not too long ago it was all the rage in the whole pop cultural Internet-is-killing-us narrative that electronic devices were in fact preventing us from those acres of unimpeded reading and deep thought that we all knew we wanted–if only we could stop checking our email! But no, now it’s that they are in fact our only defense against the evil effects of boredom that we’ve forgotten how to protect ourselves from.

The argument just doesn’t wash. Like everyone else, I see people taking their devices out at the least hint that we’re in for five entire minutes of unstructured time, but I really doubt that these things are bringing people any further from whatever bordom-esque sensation they might be feeling in their absence. And the rest of the time, instead of bulwarks against the threat of having to see where your mind wanders if you’d only let it, these devices seem to be distractions from the enormous amounts of work-like tasks that I continually read that Americans subject themselves to.



Recent Posts




Criticism Isn't Free


CR is dedicated to thoughtful, in-depth criticism without regard to what's commercially appealing. It takes tens of hours each month to provide this. Please help make this sort of writing sustainable, either with a subscription or a one-time donation. Thank you!





3 Comments

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

If Simic’s so concerned about boredom, why does he write the vapid poetry that he does?

I was just a bit “bored” at the Picasso exhibition at Yerba Buena today and ended up looking at some paintings longer than I intended to. A rewarding experience in the end.

People are afraid to just sit and think. It’s considered a weakness to have such “unstructured time” as you put it. I little “boredom” is a good thing; I can accomplish more during these periods of boredom by simply thinking through the bigger issues that you never get to when you’re head is stuck in you PDA!

THE SURRENDER

The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


LADY CHATTERLEY'S BROTHER

Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


THE LATIN AMERICAN MIXTAPE

5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

Shop though these links = Support this site

Copyright © 2016. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.