Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Procrastination Lit

Just in time! There is a special issue of Slate focusing on procrastination. Of special interest will be this article on the literature of procrastination. Of the writers discussed in the article, I am only familiar with Thomas Bernhard. I am sure there will be lots of other examples too. From Hamlet to Oblomov the dithering hero is quite a recurring archetype in fiction. I like reading about such characters even though it makes me feel really uncomfortable (for obvious reasons, haha!)

My own favourite book about procrastinating will be Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities. I am not too sure if Ulrich can really be called a true procrastinator though. He is pretty sincere and explicit in laying down his reasons for taking a "leave from life" and adopting an attitude of analytical passivity towards the external world. Some of his colleagues in the "collateral campaign" are the real procrastinators though!

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