The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl

The Art of the Wasted Day

A spirited inquiry into the lost value of leisure and daydreamThe Art of the Wasted Day is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose a goal, even an art form. She begins with two celebrated eighteenth-century Irish ladies who ran off to live a life of "retirement" in rural Wales. Her search then leads to Moravia to consider th...

Details The Art of the Wasted Day

TitleThe Art of the Wasted Day
Release DateApr 17th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Travel, Philosophy, Writing, Essays, History

Reviews The Art of the Wasted Day

  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 Daydreaming, something often frowned on in our busy society of list makers. To achieve, cross out the things on our lists,but where are we rushing to, where do we hope to get.? Yet, as the author points out it is by daydreaming that we can really see things, observe our surrounding. In her musing of memories past and present the author travels ,but never alone. Many authors of wise words, Woolf,Kafka, Dickens, Whitman, accompany her everywher...
  • Sara
    The title almost makes it sound like a how-to manual, but it's anything but. She begins by describing how her childhood daydreaming gave way to adult self-improvement and achievement and to-do lists. After her husband died, and she had her first panic attacks, she remembered how she enjoyed a more Montaigne-inspired existence as a child, 'wasting her life to find it.'It's true it's not a linear narrative, but she states that is not her intention....
  • SabirSultan
    I love Patricia Hampl's work. I have since I was a freshman in college and read her essay, "Of Memory and Imagination." And, I love the "The Art of The Wasted Day."As I was reading this book, I found myself marveling at the review blurbs on the jacket. How to sum up the worlds contained in this .. this memoir, travelogue, love letter to her deceased husband? How do you sum up something that felt infinite in a few sentences? On a surface level the...
  • Paul Kelly
    Ever since I retired, I have struggled to leave behind my desire to "be productive", "useful" and "busy" and just be able to, as Blaise Pascal said, "sit Quietly in a room alone". The title of this book intrigued me as a "how to" guide to relaxing in my dotage. While the author did provide examples of successful "retirees" (Gregor Mendel, Montaigne, Whitman, Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler), they were buried in an avalanche of self indulgent ph...
  • Polly
    I kept waiting for this book to start, if you know what I mean. Once I realized I was halfway through, I felt some disappointment that it was more meandering and rambling than the fanciful and whimsical book I was expecting considering the title.
  • Gloria
    This book of observations contrasting the too busy world with the value of stepping off the treadmill is intellectual and a bit dry accordingly, but also offers plenty to ponder.The author is a well-traveled professor who grew up in the 1960s, inhaled literature, and studied music seriously. She is an introvert who loves solitude, yet keeps an intimidating to-do list going at all times. Her fascination with great thinkers takes her all over the w...
  • Sharron
    Elegant, thoughtful prose compensates for a loosely structured work.
  • Amanda
    This was a Goodreads win for me and I really enjoyed the perspective of the author. While parts of the book are a bit slow, I did like it.
  • Kelsey
    Hard to finish this one. Didn't really catch me personally, but at the same time, it was well written.