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Boredom in the Literature and Film of the Berlin Republic.

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Präsentation zum Thema: "Boredom in the Literature and Film of the Berlin Republic."—  Präsentation transkript:

1 Boredom in the Literature and Film of the Berlin Republic

2 Boredom: good or bad? Arthur Schopenhauer ( ) “Der allgemeinste Überblick zeigt uns, als die Feinde des menschlichen Glückes, den Schmerz und die Langeweile.” Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit (1976), p. 27 Friedrich Nietzsche ( ) “Man erntet als Lohn für vielen Überdruss, Missmut, Langeweile […] jene Viertelstunden tiefster Einkehr in sich und die Natur.” Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, 200

3 good or bad? Søren Kierkegaard ( ) “Boredom is the root of all evil. […] This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.” Either / Or I, “Crop Rotation” Walter Benjamin ( ) “Langeweile ist der Traumvogel, der das Ei der Erkenntnis ausbrütet.” “Der Erzähler”, Erzählen, pp , p. 111

4 Time: lange Weile Jean Baudrillard ( ) “Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face.” Fragments: Cool Memories III, T. S. Eliot ( ) “For I have known them all already, known them all – Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915)

5 Time Ralph W. Emerson ( ) “Just to fill the hour, – that is happiness.” Collected Works, vol. 7, para. 41 (92) Blaise Pascal ( ) “Nothing is so insufferable to man as to be completely at rest, without passions, without business, without diversion, without study. He then feels his nothingness, […], his emptiness.” Pensées, para. 131

6 leisure, “free” time Theodor W. Adorno ( ) “Das Bewußtsein der Unfreiheit der ganzen Existenz, das der Druck der Anforderungen des Erwerbs, also Unfreiheit selber, nicht aufkommen läßt, tritt erst im Intermezzo der Freiheit hervor.” Minima Moralia, para. 113 Jean Baudrillard ( ) “The apparent division into working time and leisure time […] is a myth. […] as a function of this common objective logic, the norms and constraints […] of working time are transferred to free time and its contents.” The Consumer Society, pp

7 Situational boredom clear cause “trivial” ends once the situation is over Existential boredom no specific cause “profound” lingers indefinitely as a mood / disposition

8 Marin Doehlemann “Die situative oder Gelegenheitslangeweile […] stellt sich ein in unausweichlichen, als langweilig empfundenen Situationen: Warten bei Behörden oder im Autostau, Festvorträge, Schulstunden, fade Parties, lange Bahnfahrten, verordnete Bettruhe oder öde Gegenden.”

9 Franz Kafka, Brief an den Vater “Ich durchgähnte und durchduselte also dort die vielen Stunden (so gelangweilt habe ich mich später, glaube ich, nur noch in der Tanzstunde) und suchte mich möglichst an den paar kleinen Abwechslungen zu freuen, die es dort gab, etwa wenn die Bundeslade aufgemacht wurde, was mich immer an die Schießbuden erinnerte, wo auch, wenn man in ein Schwarzes traf, eine Kastentür sich aufmachte, nur daß dort aber immer etwas Interessantes herauskam und hier nur immer wieder die alten Puppen ohne Köpfe.”

10 “die überdrüssige Langeweile” boredom of surfeit or overload contemporary consumption habits existential hunger?

11 Orrin Klapp “[…] in a Babel of signals, we must listen to a great deal of chatter to hear one bit of information we really want”. “The result for our information society is that we suffer a lag in which the slow horse of meaning is unable to keep up with the fast horse of mere information.”

12 Erich Fromm “[…] we are eternal consumers, receiving, receiving, receiving. Eight hours a day, whatever our position may be, we work; we are active. In our leisure time, however, we are completely lazy with the passivity of consumers. The consumer attitude has now moved on from the sphere of economics to invade more and more the sphere of everyday life. We consume cigarettes and cocktails and books and television; we seem to be looking for the big nursing bottle which would provide total nourishment. Eventually we consume tranquilizers.”

13 existential boredom chronic akin to a psychological disposition state of mind

14 Martin Doehlemann “Die dritte Art ist die existentielle Langeweile, die mit nagenden Gefühlen eines abgestorbenen Inneren, eines Leerlaufs der Seele und der Sinnarmut oder Inhaltslosigkeit der Welt einhergeht. Man weiβ mit sich und der Welt nichts anzufangen, bleibt teilnahmlos. Diese Langeweile, bei der der Mensch ‘sich fehlt’, ist der kleinste Bruder des Todes”.

15 Boredom and Modernity crisis of meaning in modern, secular and capitalist societies end of 18 th century industrialisation, secularisation

16 Alain Ehrenberg “The individual, free from morality, creating herself by herself and aspiring to the superhuman (acting on her own nature, surpassing herself, being more than herself) is now our reality. But, instead of possessing the strength of the masters, she now turns out to be fragile, lacking in being, weary of her sovereignty and full of complaints. She does not inhabit Nietzsche’s gay science and laughter. Depression, then, […] is the inexorable counterpart of the human being who is her / his own sovereign.”

17 die schöperische Langeweile creative boredom (Benjamin, Nietzsche) Martin Heidegger: “die tiefe Langeweile” abstract art from mid-20 th century on

18 Andy Warhol, Sleep (1963)

19 some European terms “spleen”: a fit of ennui or sulks, a dull time “ennui”: existential or spiritual suffering “Langeweile”: unpleasantly extended time

20 “boredom” combines: temporal elongation (“Langeweile”) existential state (“ennui”) “boredom” signals broad European discourse: questions of existence related to questions of time as empty and meaningless

21 modern malaise “boredom” signals a broad European discourse which gains momentum in late 18 th century relates questions of existence to experience of time as empty and meaningless time devoid of “the divine” (Goodstein) “experience without qualities” (Goodstein)


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