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Art of the Wasted Day

Patricia Hampl
# UQ0222 Hardcover, 271 pages; 2018
Currently Unavailable

Leisure isn't idleness, and it isn't simply an exhausted pause before shouldering the next task. I'm not just hunting down heroes of leisure for an eccentric little collection. I'm trying to figure out what it is, this leisure people now claim they do not have.

Part memoir, part travelogue, and part biography of some of history's best daydreamers, The Art of the Wasted Day is a sharp and rousing celebration of getting lost in one's thoughts. From exploring the legacy of two eighteenth-century Irishwomen who absconded to rural Wales in search of "retirement" to seeking the Bordeaux chateau where Michel de Montaigne, hero of idle thoughtfulness, invented the personal essay, Patricia Hampl presents her leisure pilgrimage interspersed with lyrical vignettes from her own life—especially involving the love and loss of her late husband. More than simply a poignant and thought-provoking personal narrative, it's a compelling inquiry into what makes life worth living. (AG)
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