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An Apology for Idlers

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  299 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
An irresistible invitation to reject the work ethic and enjoy life's simple pleasures (such as laughing, drinking and lying in the open air). Robert Louis Stevenson's witty and seminal essay on the joys of idleness is accompanied here by his writings on, among other things, growing old, visiting unpleasant places and the overwhelming experience of falling in love.
Mass Market Paperback, 113 pages
Published August 27th 2009 by Penguin (first published 1877)
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Cristina
Nov 14, 2015 Cristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: TODOS
Shelves: británica, ensayo
Debería ser lectura obligada en las escuelas si realmente fueran escuelas y no fábricas de peones para el capitalismo.

*interesante es la etimología de la palabra ESCUELA según wikipedia: el término «escuela» proviene del Griego antiguo σχολή (skholḗ) por mediación del latín schola. Curiosamente el significado original en griego era tranquilidad, tiempo libre, que luego derivó a aquello que se hace durante el tiempo libre y, más concretamente, aquello que merece la pena hacerse, de donde acabó s
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James
Feb 21, 2014 James rated it really liked it
A worthwhile read and one to come back to every so often. The book contains reflections by an intelligent man of the world and some insight into the times he lived in. I haven't read anything by R.L. Stevenson apart from this so far, but I'll certainly make an effort to do so now.

I'm a fan of this series of books but the lack of an introduction and notes can be a problem; especially with some of the more obscure references, and I felt that the travel writing needed some background information.
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Sasha
Mar 11, 2011 Sasha rated it liked it
A reminder about the importance of idling. Stevenson's argument is valid, however I prefer Chesterton's essay on the same subject; On Lying in Bed and Other Essays.

Tom Hodgkinson's How to Be Idle: A Loafer's Manifesto is also excellent. If you are ever poisoned with guilt about simply lying about and dreaming, Hodgkinson's book is the antidote.
Heike
Mar 26, 2011 Heike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone, regularly
Shelves: facing-life
Stevenson summarizes all the good reasons to be idle every once in a while and to allow yourself to live instead of focusing on work all the time; to follow his advise: "I lie here, by this water, to learn by root-of-heart a lesson which my master teaches me to call Peace, or Contentment"
Ana Díaz
Oct 25, 2015 Ana Díaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
De los tres libros que he leído hasta el momento de esta colección este ha sido el que más me ha gustado. Los primeros ensayos son los mejores en cuanto que contienen más ideas que los últimos que se centran más en la descripción de lugares. Todos a su manera me han gustado, aunque el ensayo que da título al libro y el que trata sobre el amor son sin duda alguna mis favoritos.
Definitivamente un pequeño libro muy interesante y bastante sencillo de seguir (no como el dichoso libro del Tao). Sin e
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Leire
Sep 21, 2010 Leire rated it really liked it
"There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy, we sow anonymous benefits upon the world, which remain unknown even to ourselves, or when they are disclosed, surprise nobody so much as the benefactor".

"An intelligent person, looking out of his eyes and hearkening in his ears, with a smile on his face all the time, will get more true education than many another in a life of heroic vigils".
umberto
Sep 25, 2009 umberto rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
Reading this book, a collection of eight essays by Robert Louis Stevenson, is illuminating and inspiring as we can see from its witty, seminal and challenging title “An Apology for Idlers” as well as the others in which the author has unimaginably described on the joys of idleness; in fact, we have long been raised, taught and trained not to be idlers, in other words, we should be diligent as working men/women in the world of competition.
Georgia Beach
Feb 25, 2014 Georgia Beach rated it it was amazing
On Falling In Love is wonderful.
Luis
Jun 20, 2017 Luis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excelente y contundente ensayo escrito por Robert Louis Stevenson, una sorpresa por donde se lo mire, ya que a Stevenson lo conocemos más por "La isla del tesoro" o su ya mítica novela "Dr. Jekyll o Mr. Hyde".
Secundo a cierta review que leí aquí mismo y parafraseando diría "que debería ser una lectura obligada".
El subsuelo de la literatura está plagado de joyas como el presente escrito, que sin entrar en demasiados detalles, sencillamente recomendaría su lectura. Viene cargado de humor y de cues
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João Sevilhano
Jun 07, 2017 João Sevilhano rated it really liked it
Leve, antigo mas actual.
Walter Michalski
May 23, 2017 Walter Michalski rated it liked it
Nothing too profound but it's affirming & fun-ish
Stuart Hill
May 29, 2015 Stuart Hill rated it it was ok
Shelves: great-ideas
This collection started off very strongly with the title piece but suffered from diminishing returns. The best essays are in the first half of the book and my interest waned as I progressed through the selection. The last few sections were essentially travelogues with little in the way of ideas. The impression is given that the editors decided to have a few really impressive essays and then bulk out the remainder with mediocre filler. The effect is like listening to an LP with some wonderful sin ...more
Robert
Jun 13, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
This didn't make me feel less guilty about my holiday. Given that I bought the book as a guilt-reduction strategy, I can only give it 3 stars. It also didn't give any explanation of how anyone should fund an idler's lifestyle, but I suppose it never claimed to. The guy sure has a way with words though, and he would have been a great telesales person had he been alive today. Because of that I did enjoy the book - it is fun - even if it didn't particularly blow my mind. I read the Penguin Great Id ...more
Mark Bennett
Aug 07, 2011 Mark Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Blew me away.

Used the following for the epigraph to Max's novel-blog post #25 arrow into the heart

"There are many matters in which you may waylay Destiny, and bid him stand and deliver. Hard work, high thinking, adventurous excitement, and a great deal more that forms a part of this or the other person's spiritual bill of fare, are within the reach of almost anyone who can dare a little and be patient. But it is by no means in the way of everyone to fall in love."
Manuel
Sep 23, 2015 Manuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ak
Bonita apología de la ociosidad. Suena tan refrescante como si estuviese escrita en la actualidad.

Además, esta edición acompaña pequeñas obras que describen paisajes y países con tal detalle que hacen difícil no caer en la ensoñación y pensar que uno está, por ejemplo, en la Baja California de finales del s.XIX.
Vicky
Feb 05, 2011 Vicky rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, philosophy
Such a brief pocket book with key essays that are very, very relevant to the state I am in, but after the "idle" essay and the "falling in love" essay (my two favorites), I lost interest in his meditation on...whatever he was writing about that made me lose interest. I think it was nature imagery or something.
Gonçalo Salgado
Jul 07, 2016 Gonçalo Salgado rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apologia do Ócio: 4 Stars
A Conversa e os Conversadores: 3 Stars

Apologia do Ócio é pequeno e bom!

"É doloroso ter laborado tanto e transposto os mais árduos obstáculos para chegar ao fim e encontrar a humanidade indiferente ao nosso êxito"
Francesco
Jun 29, 2015 Francesco rated it it was amazing
With "AN APOLOGY FOR IDLERS" R.L.Stevenson is trying to motivate people to break away from operational reality, devoting time to leisure understood as thinking, a manufacturer of ideas and improvements in life everyday. We must take our time
F.F.
Cristina
"Non esiste alcun dovere tanto sottovalutato quanto l'essere felici. Quando siamo felici, disseminiamo il mondo di buone azioni involontarie, che rimangono sconosciute persino a noi stessi, o, quando vengono scoperte, soprendono per primo il benefattore."
Pedro
Jun 12, 2012 Pedro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favss
There`s a wonderful description about a community of painters and their lives on this book. ...more
Catherine
Nov 04, 2013 Catherine rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read - for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and day-dreamers.
Fernando
Jul 29, 2012 Fernando rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A surprise, ironic subject, talented writer. A very interesting biography on the Portuguese translation I read, by &etc 2005.
Nushin
Feb 04, 2010 Nushin rated it it was ok
It caught my eye, the other day in LRB. It is beautifully written and a rather rare view about how we live. I'm enjoying it.
MaelleMaud
May 07, 2014 MaelleMaud rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
Donne envie de revoir ses amis et de découvrir l'homme que fut R. L. Stevenson.
Frahorus
Evviva l'ozio (quello positivo ovviamente)!
Sae-chan
Feb 13, 2011 Sae-chan rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature
The Apology for Idlers itself was good. Also another one about the age. The others don't interest me as much. I haven't read all, but I will consider it as read.
Yann
Intelligent et fin.
Gem
Jun 11, 2015 Gem added it
Perfect essay for a bath.
Daniel Wright
I was going to write a review for this book but now I can't be bothered.
daniblues
Mar 23, 2012 daniblues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En un mundo dominado por la locura no estaría de más releer este breve ensayo para centrarse un poco.
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Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is onl
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“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” 36 likes
“An intelligent person, looking out of his eyes and hearkening in his ears, with a smile on his face all the time, will get more true education than many another in a life of heroic vigils".” 30 likes
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