June 28, 2010

Lee Rourke talks Boredom on HTML Giant


Catherine Lacey, former Melville House intern extraordinaire and now book correspondent for a number of venues, interviewed debut author Lee Rourke (The Canal, Melville House July 2010) for HTML Giant about his new book, the writing process, and the wildlife of Greater London.  The full interview is here, along with two brief excerpts from the book.  Here’s Rourke on his philosophy of boredom:

I truly believe — as Bertrand Russell did before me — that if we truly embraced boredom there would be less violence in the world. When I say truly embrace boredom I mean that we should make an effort not to fight it — we especially shouldn’t do something just to stop us from feeling bored (this just leads to the type of passive nihilism the philosopher Simon Critchley warns us about). I think we should just accept it and naturally feel bored and ultimately do nothing. Fighting boredom only leads to friction, which can cause myriad things, including the type of violence that haunts my novel. But I know this is a losing battle. It is a losing battle because boredom reveals to us the nothingness that makes up our lives: the gaping void of our existence, its meaninglessness and finiteness. Obviously this gaping void scares the shit out of us. And it is because of this intrinsic fear that we mostly fail.