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An Apology for Idlers

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  367 Ratings  ·  43 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.
Paperback, 113 pages
Published August 27th 2009 by Penguin (first published 1877)
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Cristina
Nov 14, 2015 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 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 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 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"
Pat
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scozia, classici
In un momento d'ozio puro ho preso questo millelire di Stevenson.
Ode e lode all’ozio!
Mi fermo qui, altrimenti s’interrompe lo stato d’ozio. Sarebbe una tragedia.

E ricordate: “Se una persona non è felice se non rimanendo in ozio, in ozio deve rimanere”.
Daniel Wright
I was going to write a review for this book but now I can't be bothered.
Margaret
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
É curioso como há livros que continuam extremamente atuais, mesmo tendo sido escritos há mais de 100 anos! “Apologia do Ócio” reúne dois ensaios de Robert Louis Stevenson – o primeiro tem o nome do livro e o segundo chama-se “A Conversa e os Conversadores”.

No primeiro texto, o autor defende os momentos de ócio como vitais para uma vida mais plena, criticando as pessoas obcecadas com o trabalho, que não sabem divertir-se.

“Existe uma classe de pessoas, vulgares e quase-mortas, que mal têm consciê
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Ana Díaz
Oct 25, 2015 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 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 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 rated it it was amazing
On Falling In Love is wonderful.
The Frahorus
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evviva l'ozio (quello positivo ovviamente)!
Luis
Jun 20, 2017 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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leve, antigo mas actual.
Ana Rînceanu
Interesting selection of essays.
Walter Michalski
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Nothing too profound but it's affirming & fun-ish
Igal Levy
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven't read all of the essays in this book, only those that interested me. Part of that is due to the style of some, which seem way too laborious or at least unoriginal and uninteresting to me. There's also a fair amount of literary name-dropping, and references to (maybe) classical works that I'm not familiar with.

Having said that, I enjoyed the title essay tremendously. It seem kin to Seneca's [Book: On the Shortness of Life] in the sense that both argue the value of making one's time one's
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Stuart Hill
May 29, 2015 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 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 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 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 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, essays
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 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 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
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
"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."
João Ritto
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
While the idea that idleness should not be considered so bad as it is (under some conditions) definitely gets my support, I did not find Robert's argumentation particularly compelling especially if one compares it with Bertrand Russell's "In Praise of Idleness".
Pedro
Jun 12, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read - for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and day-dreamers.
Fernando
Jul 29, 2012 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 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.
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3,926 followers
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
...more
“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” 40 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".” 32 likes
More quotes…