- Gebundene Ausgabe: 336 Seiten
- Verlag: Hamish Hamilton (2. April 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0241143535
- ISBN-13: 978-0241143537
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,1 x 3,2 x 20,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 269.237 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 2. April 2009
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To some degree, what the reader takes way from Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work will be influenced by what that particular reader brings to it. If you are looking for a serious and exhaustive analysis of work and how it affects both our psychological equilibrium and general sense of well-being, you may be disappointed; although de Botton draws on a variety of examples (some straightforward and illuminating, others eccentric and whimsical), his strategy here is more subtle and allusive, not something which can be demonstrated by adducing a carefully marshalled tranche of facts. Secondly, of course, anyone familiar with the author's approach will hardly be expecting a linear demonstration of a thesis, as might be gathered from his delightful How Proust Can Change Your Life. Alain de Botton is offering something at once insightful and idiosyncratic: a practical guide to a better quality of life through an off-kilter approach to the subject of work. In the earlier book, we were offered a (not entirely serious) method of extrapolating from the brilliant (and famously difficult) French writer a host of unconventional insights into dealing with our own personal emotional and intellectual fulfilment. Here, the notion of work is addressed with a similarly light/serious touch, following a variety of processes (such as the trajectory of a fish from the ocean to its final destination on the shelves of a supermarket) to examine the multiplicity of possible approaches to work.
The real insights here, however, relate to the way in which work (as de Botton sees it) is both a validation of the true purpose of our existence – and the most assertive way to 'rage against the dying of the light' – in other words, to keep at bay the daunting realisation of what a brief flicker of existence we have. It's a book that is both affirmative and (in its eccentric fashion) quietly persuasive. --Barry Forshaw
Clever, provocative and fresh as a daisy (Literary Review on The Architecture of Happiness )
Full of splendid ideas, often happily and beautifully expressed . . . an engaging and intelligent book (Independent on The Architecture of Happiness )
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Just when one thinks he has gone over the top with what sounds like a jaded view, he enters a softer, more philosophical place in which he asks himself AND us: do we really even notice those who work so hard, earn so little, work late hours, or in the case of rocket science, really even understand? As I read, I thought to myself, "I've learned a lot about what rocket science isn't...but I never really stopped to consider what it IS."
His writing style and skillful weaving in and out of the working world and the lives of others is compelling. Just how many hands have played a role in a fish one buys at market? How many of us turn our lights on and off all day and night without ever thinking even once about the men and women who make that magical thing called electricity possible with a simple flip of a switch? Who are the ones who make certain the cookies I buy are neatly arranged in a perfect package at the grocery store--and who are the ones that got it there?
As an artist, I paricularly appreciated that he included a chapter about a painter whose career mostly centered around painting the same grand tree in any number of conditions from seasonal to weather variations, in morning light, late light, and high noon. I could not help but wonder about the richness of such a collection of paintings--a single tree with a thousand-thousand faces (not unlike a single person with a thousand-thousand faces).
I recommend you not read the book in a hurry. Go slowly, Savor it. Ponder it. Turn in over in your mind and heart. Wonder why YOU do what you do, day in and day out, ask if your work brings you joy. If you don't like the answer, perhaps this book will give you the courage to go on and find something more in tune with your soul's purpose in this short life.
Reminds me of Mary Oliver's line: "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?"
This tourist's eye view is a great strength because unlike the subjects he examines under his microscope De Botton is able to look at each occupation and see it with fresh eyes as a choice made by each person who picked that career from the countless other possibilities. Most of us entered our chosen field by way of decisions made when we were unthinking undergrads or teenagers looking for something to earn us a buck without really giving it much thought. Our careers chose us by paying well or being conveniently located to our homes, we didn't choose our careers. This pathology (and it is a pathology that stems from laziness) is wonderfully illustrated in the chapter devoted to accountancy by showcasing fresh faced recruits straight from college who bury themselves in the busy work of his job rather than examine why they are doing what they do for a living. This is that rare book that forces us to think about why we are devoting so much of our waking lives to do our jobs while we never invested nearly as much time into deciding which job to choose.
The tourist perspective is also a weakness for De Botton because he never sticks around long enough to examine the motivations of his subjects. De Botton has done the impossible, he has written a book about work without discussing money. That's like writing a book about dating without ever mentioning the topic of sex. The tourist that he is visits an occupation as if it were some foreign city, he notices and appreciates the details of the landscape in a way that the locals ignore. However, his insights are superficial and shallow in the same way that a tourist's understanding of a new land is limited to what can be observed immediately. He doesn't explore the motivations for people to stay in jobs that may have been poorly chosen. He doesn't really investigate the 'why' and instead chooses to simply describe the 'what'.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. Especially as I found the author's description of my profession to be spot on. If your profession is the focus of one of the chapters in this book then you will enjoy this book immensely. If you don't toil in one of the occupations described in this book you may still find it enjoyable but you probably won't appreciate it as much as I did.
While at times the author's viewpoints seem to be a bit... condescending towards the types of modern work that many of us must endure, and perhaps even *enjoy* (accounting, data entry, and other "non-creative" fields), he does a good job of dissecting the modern day job and its place in our lives.
A great read for anyone trying to search for some meaning in their careers and figure out "why am I doing this every day?"
As someone who has complained (almost every single day) at the menial office-work I currently do, his observations about meaning of modern life are entertaining and helpful. Mostly, I've just enjoyed what he's written; but I also feel like I've gained a more clear idea of how the modern consumer world works and what my place is within it.
That others in this machine of modern economics are also reading this book--thinking about why they do what they do and what it all means--gives me more optimism about humanity in general; there are more thoughtful people out there like me, reading this book on their lunch breaks and thinking about the meaning of work, that unfortunate thing that steals a third of our lives and half of our conversations.