On Boredom

I'm bored - and you are the source of my ennui!

Can boredom be elevated to an art?

No, indeed, it can’t. Boredom is inexcusable and worse is to say that other people are boring. When we say of somebody else that he is boring, it is ourselves we criticize because we have not made ourselves into that wide-open vessel into which people can pour their entire lives. Nothing is boring except a lie. Anyone who would tell the truth about himself is interesting. If people are not telling you the truth it’s because they are afraid of you: you’ve said something to them which makes them guarded. This is of course the whole purpose of having an image, because it removes all those guarded assertions, all those generalities, all those platitudes. They are removed once a person knows from looking at you what he can profitably tell or ask of you.

Nobody ever talks to me about the weather.

Quentin Crisp
The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp (1984)

Art by Ernie Bushmiller; speech balloon text by unknown


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