In Praise of Sloth

Also from the most recent issue of Cabinet, an event which has unfortunately passed us by before I even knew it existed.

"In Defense of Sloth: An Eclectic and Entertaining Series of Presentations About that Most Philosophical of Vices"

There are a series of downloadable audio files which I plan on making my way through this evening. I'm especially interested in this one:

2:15-3:15 Presentations by Brian Dillon and Jean-Michel Rabaté Followed by Q and A
Brian Dillon's presentation, "The English Malady," will examine the historical relationship between hypochandria, sloth, and general lassitude, showing that, paradoxically, sloth can also serve as a form of time-management: a way of clearing one's schedule for real work, as the cases of James Boswell, Charles Darwin, and Florence Nightingale attest. Jean-Michel Rabaté's presentation, "In Praise of Indolence: Beckett and Belacqua," examines Beckett's early identification with Belacqua, a character in Dante's Purgatorio. His famous indolence leads him to question the very machinery of purgatory, hence salvation. His name echoes in Beckett's texts as a reminder that, at times, illumination comes to those who know how to "sit and remain quiet."