A spirited inquiry into the lost value of leisure and daydreamThe Art of the Wasted Day is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose a goal, even an art form. She begins with two celebrated eighteenth-century Irish ladies who ran off to live a life of "retirement" in rural Wales. Her search then leads to Moravia to consider the monk-geneticist, Gregor Mendel, and finally to Bordeaux for Michel Montaignethe hero of this bookwho retreated from court life to sit in his chateau tower and write about whatever passed through his mind, thus inventing the personal essay.Hampl's own life winds through these pilgrimages, from childhood days lazing under a neighbor's beechnut tree, to a fascination with monastic life, and then to loveand the loss of that love which forms this book's silver thread of inquiry. Finally, a remembered journey down the Mississippi near home in an old cabin cruiser with her husband turns out, after all her international quests, to be the great adventure of her life.The real job of being human, Hampl finds, is getting lost in thought, something only leisure can provide. The Art of the Wasted Day is a compelling celebration of the purpose and appeal of letting go....
|Title||:||The Art of the Wasted Day|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
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The Art of the Wasted Day Reviews
Interested based on this article.
"Each day was exactingly scheduled, hours given to study (languages especially: Italian, Spanish), transcription of admired texts, drawing and sketching, long walks, correspondence, reading, reading, reading in several languages — both silently and, at night, aloud to one another amid the glow of candles, an alarming expense of nine pounds per annum, but a requirement of the romantic reading life."Is there a sign-up sheet for that lifestyle somewhere?
Hard to finish this one. Didn't really catch me personally, but at the same time, it was well written.
This was a Goodreads win for me and I really enjoyed the perspective of the author. While parts of the book are a bit slow, I did like it.