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Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  312 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Happiness today is not just a possibility or an option but a requirement and a duty. To fail to be happy is to fail utterly. Happiness has become a religion--one whose smiley-faced god looks down in rebuke upon everyone who hasn't yet attained the blessed state of perpetual euphoria. How has a liberating principle of the Enlightenment--the right to pursue happiness--become ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 13th 2011 by Princeton University Press (first published March 15th 2000)
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Dennis The refusal to acknowledge that ultimately all lifes are tragic; that we substitute 'happy' for seriousness of purpose, and play for responsibility…moreThe refusal to acknowledge that ultimately all lifes are tragic; that we substitute 'happy' for seriousness of purpose, and play for responsibility and obligation, and fail to see that joy and euphoria are different experiences. (less)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jim Coughenour
A self-help book for readers who hold self-help books in complete contempt. "It is not true that to live is to prepare ourselves for death and ruin; it is to exhaust all the possibilities life on Earth offers us despite its vicissitudes and its ineluctable end, it is to act as if we were immortal. And we might note that the writer Cioran, who praised suicide in book after book, died of old age and Alzheimer's disease." Well yes, we might.

I picked up Bruckner's book because I was having a bad day
...more
Dan
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Ultimately, 'how's it going?' is the most futile and the most profound of questions. To answer it precisely, one would have to make a scrupulous inventory of one's psyche, considering each aspect in detail. No matter: we have to say 'fine' out of politeness and civility and change the subject, or else ruminate the question during our whole lives and reserve our reply for afterward." (Perpetual Eurphoria p.19)

Solon the ancient Greek poet once remarked that no one knows if a man was truly happy u
...more
Pequete
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
Gostei bastante deste livro e só não lhe dou 4 estrelas, porque a escrita é, por vezes, um pouco palavrosa demais, tornando-se enfadonha. Mas o conteúdo é muito interessante, embora por vezes também muito provocador. Por exemplo:
"(...) uma das perversões do desemprego é talvez ter emprestado ao trabalho, mesmo ao mais estupidificante, uma aura que tinha já perdido durante os anos de prosperidade. Obcecadas pelo pleno emprego, as nossas sociedades pretendem ocupar as pessoas a todo o custo e cele
...more
Jonathan
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
There is much food for thought in Bruckner's short work, and it caused me to question how I view my own happiness.

Bruckner's overarching idea is that our constant quest for happiness has become a burden of anxiety. He divides this lecture into two parts: the first part focuses on Christian Europe's concern for salvation. The lecture's second part focuses on contemporary society's injunction to be happy.

In the first part, Bruckner states that, up until the past couple of hundred years, the Cath
...more
Lisa Roney
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot, though I there are a few parts that are bothersome. The good thing is that Bruckner offers historical evidence and some convincing arguments about the absurdity of fixed programs to make oneself happy. In his mind, happiness is greatly an accidental event that we should be open to but not make ourselves miserable trying to ACHIEVE. I like this approach, though there are a few places where it sounds a bit like he thinks that people should accept their God-given place in l ...more
Жанна Пояркова
От интересной мысли о том, что стремление к счастью (довольно зыбкой категории) из мечты в нынешнее время превратилось в обязанность, Брюкнер смещается к брюзжанию.
Ditte
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: joesclub, i-own
Ik had dit boek eigenlijk in 2004 al moeten lezen voor een boekenclub waar ik bij zit, maar toen kwam ik niet verder dan een bladzijde of vijftig. Waarom dat was kan ik me nu eigenlijk niet meer voorstelllen, want 'Gij zult gelukkig zijn!' is een goed leesbaar, afwisselend en interessant boek.
Het was grappig om met de kennis van nu (met name over de economische crisis) te lezen wat Bruckner tien jaar geleden schreef over de manier waarop wij omgaan met geld en de economie in het algemeen, en de
...more
Jaimella Shaikh
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This elegant essay is the antithesis of the self help books that seem to proliferate in railway station book shops promising 'HAPPY THIS YEAR'. Bruckner's target is not happiness (he's smiling on the dust jacket) but the 'duty to be happy' and the multimillion pound happiness industry. He posits that 'the "secret" of a good life is not to give a damn about happiness'.

Unabashedly well read, Bruckner draws on a range of sources to support his argument: some expected like Cicero, Hegel, Proust and
...more
Pieter
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: filosofie
Op basis van de titel verwacht je argumenten om wat minder materialistisch te handelen, wat in "Statusangst" van Alain de Botton wordt behandeld. Maar het gaat over andere onderwerpen.

Internationaal politiek over hoe VSA als uithangbord van het kapitalisme met alle zonden wordt overhandeld, maar dit (terecht) als excuus wordt gebruikt door Europa, Midden-Oosten om zichzelf geen plaats onder de internationale zon te verwerven. Europa kan leren van Amerika's optimisme en patriottisme.

Idelogisch ov
...more
Vaseline
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
At times pretentious and at times brilliant but nonetheless sincere, this book is a collection of Bruckner's revolt against the 'perpetual euphoria' that apparently plagues modern society, across a wide range of universal themes such as health, wealth, suffering, the everyday etc...

At times this book reads like a bunch of clichés (e.g. the sad rich man, the whininess of 'people nowadays') dressed in flowery language strung together by over-zealously quoting philosophers and writers. But it buil
...more
Т Ц
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Много добра книга. Макар, че задава въпрос още в заглавието на книгата автора доста бързо дава мнението си по въпроса, което си личи най-вече от тона му. А решението му на въпроса си заслужава осмислянето.Той показва, че щастието се е превърнало в бреме. Защото представата за щастие в днешно време е за едно непрестанно и непресъхващо усещане на екстаз. Вече никой не може да понася пребиваването си в състояние, в което няма "щастие" и се самообвинява за това, че не е щастлив. Цялата тенденция на ...more
Chris Holliman
I didn't feel like wading through every word of this book, but the author really makes some wonderful points. Our contemporary society elevates happiness to the level of the ultimate meaning and goal of life. Bruckner deftly questions whether that is possible to fulfill or even wise to try to. Suffering, he points out, is unavoidable and often deepens our experience in this world. The point, he states, is to LIVE, not vegetate! After reading this book, you'll want to toss all of your saccharine ...more
Mariana Neves
"A Euforia Perpétua" não é de todo um livro para ler antes de dormir. Tem uma escrita complexa e aborda temas pesados, obrigando-nos a pensar demoradamente sobre cada um deles. Requer uma leitura demorada, atenta e pormenorizada. Não foi dos melhores livros que li, especialmente porque existem partes do livro um pouco aborrecidas, contudo tem algumas passagens interessantes e deixa-nos mesmo a pensar no que é A felicidade.
Kozmosevren
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Açlıktan ölmemenin, sıkıntıdan ölmekle garantilendiği bir dünya istemiyoruz"

"Ölümü, hastalığı, yokluğu, gece gündüz hazırlanarak katlanılır kılacağına inanmak, insanın kendi yaşamını yok etmesi, sonunu düşünerek en ufak bir haz yaşayamaması anlamına geliyor. Çünkü talihsizlik her zaman dalgın anlarımızda yakalıyor, ölüm ve hastalık, önce davranıp önleyebileceğimiz düşündüğümüz sırada yok ediyor bizi."
Ioannis Savvas
Πολύ κακό για το (σχεδόν) τίποτα. Υπάρχει ευτυχία; Υπάρχει κυνήγι της ευτυχίας; Ως θέμα το βρίσκω υπερβολικό για να ασχοληθεί ένας φιλόσοφος, καθώς στηρίζεται σε ένα μάτσο υποθέσεις που της ανακαλύπτει με το ζόρι. Σε πολλά σημεία το βιβλίο γίνεται κουραστικό, ενώ η τεκμηρίωση, αλλά και τα συμπεράσματα χωλαίνουν.
Dennis
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting take, with a strong Catholic undercurrent, on modern culture's unceasing but fruitless effort to avoid the inevitable pains and tragedies of human life. A good corrective to "happy culture".
Sivec
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I can't say I've finished the book, because I did not. However, I have read a better part of it and suffice to say, I will return to read it again, and again and again...
Will
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Pretty good for a frenchman.
Cosimo
May 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Superficial y dudoso analisis de felicidad por ej,dice
que EEUU es vulgar y kirch por su afán burgues;que
la democracia y libertades generan infelicidad,etc.Un
libro clasista y snob de escaso valor.
Sevgican
rahat okunan, çok güzel bir çevirisi olan, çok haklı noktalara değinen, en çok da "neden mutlu olmamalıyız"ı anlatan bir kitap.
Stephen
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant so far. What is boredom? What is fun? What is stress? Bruckner's takes are fascinating. An anti-self-help book if ever there was one.
Mindi
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent book including the historical explanation for our culture's current happiness obsession. Worth re-reading. Not from a Christian perspective.
Ana
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
An important and intelligent book in the disgusting era of New Age, positive thinking and the all-justifying, debasing and onanistic search for media inspired ideas of happiness.
Marcelo Abreu
rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2016
Angelique
rated it really liked it
May 03, 2012
Petra Brnardic
rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2015
Bogdan D
rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2013
Gamze Şahin
rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2016
Ilinca
rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2015
Vlatka
rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2013
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After studies at the university Paris I and Paris VII, and then at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, he became maître de conférences at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, and collaborator at the Nouvel Observateur.

Pascal Bruckner began writing in the vein of the so-called "nouveaux philosophes" and counts among their best known French proponents. He published Parias (Parias), Lunes de
...more
More about Pascal Bruckner...

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“O tempo, esse grande ladrão, rouba continuamente; mas uma coisa é ser despojado com magnificência e envelhecer com a consciência de uma existência plena e rica, outra é ser roído miseravelmente hora após hora por coisas que de todo não conhecemos. O inferno dos contemporâneos chama-se monotonia. O paraíso que procuram a plenitude. Existem aqueles que viveram e aqueles que duraram.” 2 likes
“Today, luxury resides in everything that is becoming rare: communion with nature, silence, meditation, slowness rediscovered, the pleasure of living out of step with others, studious idleness, the enjoyment of the major works of the mind - these are all privileges that cannot be bought because they are literally priceless.” 1 likes
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