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Quotations about Boredom



He was soon aware that there was springing up in his heart a desire for desires — ennui. ~Leo Tolstoy, translated by Constance Garnett


ENNUI  Plain doldrums with a French dressing. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914


Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it. ~Bertrand Russell, "Causes of Unhappiness: Boredom and Excitement," The Conquest of Happiness, 1930


Boredom is an emptiness filled with insistence. ~Leo Stein


But the war between being and nothingness is the underlying illness of the twentieth century. Boredom slays more of existence than war. ~Norman Mailer, interview with Steven Marcus, 1963, for The Paris Review, theparisreview.org


...the machine age has enormously diminished the sum of boredom in the world. ~Bertrand Russell, "Causes of Unhappiness: Boredom and Excitement," The Conquest of Happiness, 1930


I am never bored anywhere: being bored is an insult to oneself. ~Jules Renard


We are less bored than our ancestors were, but we are more afraid of boredom. We have come to know, or rather to believe, that boredom is not part of the natural lot of man, but can be avoided by a sufficiently vigorous pursuit of excitement.... every housemaid expects at least once a week as much excitement as would have lasted a Jane Austen heroine throughout a whole novel. ~Bertrand Russell, "Causes of Unhappiness: Boredom and Excitement," The Conquest of Happiness, 1930


Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is. ~Thomas Szasz


Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful, or to discover something that is true. ~William Ralph Inge


Ennui, perhaps, has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst... ~C. C. Colton


Earth's nothing more than a rotating ball of boredom. ~Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "What You Leave Behind," 1999, written by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler  [S7, E25, Quark]


One of the essentials of boredom consists in the contrast between present circumstances and some other more agreeable circumstances which force themselves irresistibly upon the imagination... Boredom is essentially a thwarted desire for events, not necessarily pleasant ones, but just occurrences such as will enable the victim of ennui to know one day from another. The opposite of boredom, in a word, is not pleasure, but excitement. ~Bertrand Russell, "Causes of Unhappiness: Boredom and Excitement," The Conquest of Happiness, 1930


Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of a face. ~Jean Baudrillard, translated by Chris Turner


The best cure for boredom is hard work. ~Proverb


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. ~Ellen Parr, quoted in The Reader's Digest 1980


When I get real, real bored, I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot, then sit in my car and count how many people ask me if I'm leaving. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985, stevenwright.com


There is an element of boredom which is inseparable from the avoidance of too much excitement, and too much excitement not only undermines the health, but dulls the palate for every kind of pleasure substituting titillations for profound organic satisfactions, cleverness for wisdom, and jagged surprises for beauty. ~Bertrand Russell, "Causes of Unhappiness: Boredom and Excitement," The Conquest of Happiness, 1930





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