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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." />

The End of Oulipo?

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Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

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Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

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Naked Singularity

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Interviews from Conversational Reading

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See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.


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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.

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3 comments to Boredom Is Everywhere

  • Tom Hayden

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

  • Bill D

    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!

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