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Cigarettes Are Sublime

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Cigarettes are bad for you; that is why they are so good. With its origins in the author’s urgent desire to stop smoking, Cigarettes Are Sublime offers a provocative look at the literary, philosophical, and cultural history of smoking. Richard Klein focuses on the dark beauty, negative pleasures, and exacting benefits attached to tobacco use and to cigarettes in particular ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published January 20th 1995 by Duke University Press Books (first published November 23rd 1993)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, essays
Preporuka za sve koji ne mogu da zamisle dan bez cigarete; za one koji, poput Tomasa Mana, smatraju da je dan bez duvana vrhunac bljutavosti!

Ne želim da zvučim eklektički, te da kopiram podatke i teze o cigaretama iz knjige. Jok. Ukratko ću reći da je knjiga za one koji uživaju u pušenju, te da će isti, nakon čitanja, uživati još više. Jedini je problem što tolika apologija nad cigaretama prosto tera da se zapali još koja, što je u mom slučaju otežavalo čitanje. Radi se esejima kroz koje, preko
Chris Meger
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
This fucking book. God do I miss cigarettes.
Apr 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was amazing. It's literary criticism, film criticism, philosophy, text deconstruction, and an elegy to cigarettes all in just over 200 pages. This is the kind of stuff that Brendan calls "grad school trash," but that I adore.

According to Klein (who wrote this book to help him quit smoking), cigarettes are sublime in the Kantian sense of sublimity: beautiful, but counter-purposive. We all know that the cool kids smoke and Klein makes smoking seem a great deal more appealing t
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sublime, indeed.

This book, inspired by Klein's urgent (and successful) desire to quit smoking, takes a deeply fascinating look at cigarettes, clarifying what they are, their social and artistic functions, and their appeal. Once someone fully understands cigarettes, and why one should not simplistically vilify them, one may be able to get over them and fill that void with something else. But this is not a 'quit smoking' book; it is a fascinating study of one of the most remarkable and important c
Benjamin Griffin
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"The cigarette is a prayer for our times"

A cultural history of the Cigarette, written by someone trying to give them up.

Interesting note: I was surprised at how politically important Casablanca was to success in the Second World War.

I was also surprised to find that in contrast to our current efforts to remove smoking from public life, that smoking was an actively encouraged past-time, and a patriotic one during all our wars and revolutions. That moreover, it's always been the accessory of the s
Jun 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: smokers, ex-smokers
Shelves: non-fiction
Klein, who is a French professor, wrote this books while quitting smoking, as a love song and farewell to cigarettes. As one might expect, it is less a sociological analysis (though since he pioneered the topic, several of those have come out, and I have them on my shelves waiting to be read) and more of a philosophical musing. What stuck with me from this one is the idea that we smoke first because it is addictive, but secondly because it is deadly, that each cigarette is a fuck you to death, a ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great novel romanticizing cigarettes and justifying their appeal in Klein's attempt to break his addiction. A lot of references to French literature, French literary/psychoanalytical theory (Klein was a French lit professor at Cornell), philosophy, film, books, and art in general, so don't bother reading this unless you're relatively well-read
May 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Sigara içmek, zamanın sıradan akışını askıya alıp onun yerine daha derinlemesine işleyen bir zaman koymak düşüncesiyle ilintilidir baştanberi, şiirsel duyarlığın çekimine karşı koyamadığı bir kayıtsızlık, bir vazgeçiş duygusunun koşullarını yaratır, onu serpiltir” (16)

“Sigara, yazara geleneği Petrarca’ya kadar giden bir esini coşkuyla sunar bir peri suretinde. Sigara, gerek tınısıyla, gerek simgeledikleriyle dişidir, şairler de bu dişiye şiirler döktürmekten geri kalmamışlardır, özellikle karan
Jan 04, 2008 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: People trying to quit smoking
Recommended to Megan by: Professor Goodson
I read some of this in a college lit crit class but have always wanted to spend the time to read the entire book.

The premise is that Klein analyzed the famous quitting-smoking novel, Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, and concluded that the anti-smoking message in that book and in the modern world in general were linked to a modern fixation with being healthy. Svevo's book discussed that living itself was a sort of illness that could only be cured by death, and that taken in that light cigaret
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've ever found on the subject of cigarettes, their history, and on quitting them if you're addicted. It's not a how-to, it's an expose filled with rich history, and social commentary and you relate (I did anyway) to Mr. Klein. I've had the hardcover of this book for over 20 years but when I rediscovered it after as many years smoking while trying to quit, it really helped me!
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Can we look at the cigarette as nothing but a stick of dynamite gently accelerating our dates of death? How do we reconcile the cigarette's undeniable romanticism with its enormous capacity to kill? To Richard Klein, we can't. The smoker and the antismoker are yin and yang. One can't exist without the other.
Huw Rhys
Dec 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
This "book" was hard work.

It is supposed to be a contemplation on the art of smoking.... in fact, it was just a self indulgent, poorly written, scantily researched, poorly constructed, rather boring essay about people that have smoked.

Something the author knocked up between fags possibly? Sadly, the writing on the fag packet itself will probably be a more interesting read for most people.
Efi Zeibeki
May 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this for informative and research reasons. Indeed it was very informative; it covered art, politics, history it gave some honest and unconventional opinions on health and addiction. I rated it three stars because it was boring at times but for the price I paid it's a useful book.
Mike Ehlers
Sep 01, 2009 marked it as to-read
Trying to figure out why people continue to smoke.
Christopher McCaffery
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is actually a fascinating commentary on modernity, hyperbolically written and fun throughout.
Ralph Zoontjens
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Best book I've read about what smoking really is, what it means.
Rupert Owen
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
How to carry on smoking despite the task that Richard set himself in writing the novel, but it truly is an ode to cigarettes, and absolutely lovingly drawn (excuse the pun) out.
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Sublime as in "a moment of relief from life's shitty monotony."

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