Aries Poon's Reviews > Williams Lovell

Williams Lovell by Ludwig Tieck
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's review
Jan 10, 2011

really liked it

Who is bored?

William Lovell in Ludwig Tieck’s novel William Lovell is bored. Patrick Bateman in Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho is bored.

Maybe you and I are bored too.

“The spirit thirsts for the new, one object must replace another … and what does it turn out to be except the boring repetition of one and the same thing?” Balder, a friend of William, said.

Suffering is linked with boredom. When you suffer, you want more; when you are satisfied, you look for nothing else, then you are bored.

You may read the first part of William Lovell online for free --

In the context of modern history and politics – pretty much since Kant’s time – with the emergence of bourgeois and the death of God (in people’s mind), man no longer sets out to serve something or someone else, but seeks to fulfil himself and gain his own happiness. The adventurousness of the Romantic is an aesthetic reaction to the monotony of the bourgeois world.

According to Lars Svendsen's A Philosophy of Boredom, Hegel remarked in Phenomenology of Spirit that subjectivism is the most prevalent illness of his age – which was closely connected to Kant’s Copernican turn in philosophy, which said humans have to find their own truth, as God doesn’t warrant objectiveness of cognition and the order of the universe.

Pascal had also said: "Without God, man is nothing, and boredom is the awareness of this nothingness."

Interestingly, Fichte put forward a speculative outline of human history in similar time – that said men first lived in a state of innocence, before falling into a state of decay and finally entering and fulfilling themselves in an epoch of reason. The crisis of reason is rooted in the individualism that pervades modernity.

Boredom is a void that is awaited to be
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