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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

We spend most of our waking lives at work - in occupations most often chosen by our inexperienced younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our jobs mean to us.

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully exploring what other people wake up to do each day - and night - to make our frenzied world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around an eclectic range of occupations, from rocket scientist to biscuit manufacturer, from accountant to artist - in search of what makes jobs either soul-destroying or fulfilling.
Rezension
"Exquisitely written. . . . A perceptive philosophical meditation on work, with its extraordinary claim to provide, along with love, the principal source of meaning in our lives." - Boston Globe

"In the place of easy answers, De Botton offers an array of potent and portable insights about the delight and despair we find, daily, in our working lives." - Los Angeles Times

" Like a combination of Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace and pop philosopher Thomas Moore, De Botton's dense, pensive prose expresses a palpable preoccupation with finding better ways of living in our bewilderingly estranged age." - Salon

"With de Botton's humor, boundless erudition and capable turns of phrase, it's the best work yet (and certainly the best-timed) from a pre-eminent genre-bender, one certain to find a welcome home in the hands of anyone making a living." – The Portland Oregonian

"Alain de Botton's new philosophical treatise, "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work," feels like an intellectual acid trip without the stimulants. He focuses your gaze where you have never even considered looking and turns upside down your notions of beauty and love and work and what really is involved in crafting a meaningful life. The book is groundbreaking in approach, style and imagination." – The San Francisco Chronicle

" The Pleasures and Sorrows treats readers to a cast of eccentrics as it examines the thing we spend most of our lives doing." - Business Week

"The workplace as subject matter brings out the best in [de Botton's] writing. . . . His wit and his powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book." - The Sunday Times (London)

"Wonderfully readable stuff. . . . What de Botton is showing us, in his de Botton-esque way, is that, in our world of niched desire and economic efficiency, our working practices might be driving us nuts. . . . A timely book." - The Spectator

"Pleasurably intelligent. . . . The author has plenty of thought-provoking things to say." - The Economist

"This artful creation reports from planet Earth in the manner of a bookish Martian sending a postcard home. . . . This is a terribly funny book, intentionally so, and its ostensible subject is one that touches all of us." - The Daily Mail

"Features passages of imaginative prose as powerful as anything by Charles Dickens or George Orwell and explores the notion that people rarely feel connected to what they do for a living." - Word Magazine

"His questions are as important as they are unsettling." - The Financial Times

"Teems with sharp portraits, interesting details, and shrewd commentary. . . . De Botton is always fun to watch." - The Guardian

Portrait
Alain de Botton, 1969 in der Schweiz geboren, hat nach dem Studium der Geschichte und Philosophie rasch seinen Weg zur Literatur gefunden. Kosmopolit und phantasievoller Flaneur der Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte, hat er sich mit seinen mittlerweile sechs Büchern, die in zahlreiche Sprachen übersetzt wurden, einen festen Platz in der jüngeren Literaturgeschichte erschrieben. De Botton lebt in London.
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    Imagine a journey across one of the great cities of the modern world. Take London on a particularly grey Monday at the end of October. Fly over its distribution centres, reservoirs, parks and mortuaries. Consider its criminals and South Korean tourists. See the sandwich- making plant at Park Royal, the airline contract-catering facility in Hounslow, the DHL delivery depot in Battersea, the Gulfstreams at City airport and the cleaning trolleys in the Holiday Inn Express on Smuggler's Way. Listen to the screaming in the refectory of Southwark Park primary school and the silenced guns at the Imperial War Museum. Think of driving instructors, meter readers and hesitant adulterers. Stand in the maternity ward of St Mary's Hospital. Watch Aashritha, three and a half months too early for existence, enmeshed in tubes, sleeping in a plastic box manufactured in the Swiss Canton of Obwalden. Look into the State Room on the west side of Buckingham Palace. Admire the Queen, having lunch with two hundred disabled athletes, then over coffee, making a speech in praise of determination. In Parliament, follow the government minister introducing a bill regulating the height of electrical sockets in public buildings. Consider the trustees of the National Gallery voting to acquire a painting by the eighteenth-century Italian artist Giovanni Panini. Scan the faces of the prospective Father Christmases being interviewed in the basement of Selfridges in Oxford Street and wonder at the diction of the Hungarian psychoanalyst delivering a lecture on paranoia and breastfeeding at the Freud Museum in Hampstead.

    Meanwhile, at the capital's eastern edges, another event is occuring which will leave no trace in the public mind or attract attention from anyone beyond its immediate participants, but which is no less worthy of record for that. The Goddess of the Sea is making her way to the Port of London from Asia. Built a decade earlier by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, she is 390 metres long, painted orange and grey and wears her name defiantly, for she makes little attempt to evoke any of the qualities of grace and beauty for which goddesses are traditionally famed, being instead squat and 80,000 tonnes in weight, with a stern that bulges like an overstuffed cushion and a hold stacked high with more than a thousand variously-coloured steel containers full of cargo, whose origins range from the factories of the Kobe corridor to the groves of the Atlas Mountains.

    This leviathan is headed not for the better-known bits of the river, where tourists buy ice-creams to the smell of diesel engines, but to a place where the waters are coloured a dirty brown and the banks are gnawed by jetties and warehouses - an industrial zone which few of the capital's inhabitants penetrate, though the ordered running of their lives and, not least, their supplies of Tango fizzy orange and cement aggregate depend on its complex operations.

    Our ship reached the English Channel late the previous evening and followed the arc of the Kent coastline to a point a few miles north of Margate, where, at dawn, she began the final phase of her journey up the lower Thames, a haunted-looking setting evocative both of the primeval past and of a dystopian future, a place where one half expects that a brontosaurus might emerge from behind the shell of a burnt-out car factory.

    The river's ostensibly generous width in fact offers but a single, narrow navigable channel. Used to having hundreds of metres of water to play with, the ship now advances gingerly, like a proud creature of the wild confined to a zoo enclosure, her sonar letting out a steady sequence of coy beeps. Up on the bridge, the Malaysian captain scans a nautical chart, which delineates every underwater ridge and bank from Canvey Island to Richmond, while the surrounding landscape, even where it is densest with monuments and civic buildings, looks l
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 336
Erscheinungsdatum 01.06.2010
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-307-27725-1
Reihe Vintage International
Verlag Random House US
Maße (L/B/H) 20.3/17.1/1.8 cm
Gewicht 313 g
Abbildungen ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 19.90
Fr. 19.90
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inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
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Versandfertig innert 4 - 7 Werktagen,  Kostenlose Lieferung ab Fr.  30 i
Versandfertig innert 4 - 7 Werktagen
Kostenlose Lieferung ab Fr.  30 i
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