Henri Lefebvre, Boredom, and Everyday Life culls together the scattered fragments of Henri Lefebvre’s (1901–1991) unrealized sociology of boredom. In assembling these fragments, sprinkled through Lefebvre’s vast oeuvre, Patrick Gamsby constructs the core elements of Lefebvre’s latent theory of boredom. Themes of time (modernity, everyday), space (urban, suburban), and mass culture (culture industry, industry culture) are explored throughout the book, unveiling a concealed dialectical movement at work with the experience of boredom. In analyzing the dialectic of boredom, Gamsby argues that Lefebvre’s project of a critique of everyday life is key for making sense of the linkages between boredom and everyday life in the modern world.
Patrick Gamsby is scholarly communications librarian at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Chapter 1: The Birth of Boredom in Modernity
Chapter 2: The Absence of Style in Everyday Life
Chapter 3: The Incredible Dullness of Urbanism
Chapter 4: The Endless Yawn of the Suburbs
Chapter 5: The Emptiness of Consumption
Chapter 6: The Numbness of Work
"Gamsby’s speculative reconstruction of Henri Lefebvre’s unrealized sociology of boredom highlights the virtues of centering a critical theory of modernity on the contradictions and possibilities of everyday life under consumer capitalism. A lively, wide-ranging, and timely contribution to boredom studies that should engage readers in many fields."
"In this rigorous yet lively and accessible study, Gamsby provides us with a reliable guide to the growing literature on boredom and also uniquely contributes by reading boredom primarily through the ‘critique of everyday life’ pioneered by the enigmatic and still oft-overlooked French social thinker Henri Lefebvre. Like his mentor, Gamsby is a ‘partisan of possibilities’ grappling with the myriad complexities, paradoxes, and latent potentialities of boredom, as manifested across diverse spatio-temporal sites and practices, including suburban life, technology, bureaucratized work, and consumption, with an eye to disentangling the banalities from the utopian aspirations the ‘longing for content’ boredom represents."