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The Art of the Wasted Day - Patrticia Hampl

The Art of the Wasted Day - Patrticia Hampl

Penguin Random House

Regular price €12,95 EUR
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Our take

What better way to “ditch productivity” than allowing yourself to daydream again, just as you did as a child? In “The Art of the Wasted Day”, Patricia Hampl encourages us to pay attention to life and to permit ourselves to be slow, relaxed, and dreamy without feeling guilty about it.

This wonderful book follows some great thinkers and daydreamers on their journeys in search of the purpose of life. Does the pursuit of happiness ever truly lead to its discovery? Or is it merely a matter of checking off items on an endless to-do list, hoping that they will bring us closer to it? In this book, Patricia Hampl invites us to reflect on how to take things in, let them go, and pay attention to life’s seemingly “insignificant” details instead of constantly filling (or killing?) time with tasks and obligations.

Publisher's description

A spirited inquiry into the lost value of leisure and daydream

The 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 Montaigne–the hero of this book–who 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 love–and 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.

Praise and awards

“A sharp and unconventional book — a swirl of memoir, travelogue and biography of some of history’s champion day-dreamers.” —Maureen Corrigan, “Fresh Air”

“Hampl’s lyrical repetitions and abstractions can be as poetic as prayer.” – The Wall Street Journal

“The Art of the Wasted Day is literary art in and of itself . . . Hampl invites readers to take a journey to explore the idea of a life steeped in leisure without schedules.” – The Washington Post

“A wise and beautiful ode to the imagination – from a child’s daydreams, to the unexpected revelations encountered in solitary travel, meditation, and reading, to the flights of creativity taken by writers, artists, and philosophers.” – The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Sharp and unconventional . . . a swirl of memoir, travelogue and biography of some of history’s champion daydreamers.” – The Seattle Times

Shipping & Returns

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You can return any book within 14 days of delivery. Unfortunately, as a small business we cannot cover any shipping costs associated with returning an item nor do we refund the delivery costs you paid when ordering the book.

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