An Apology for Idlers


Occasionally I come across an essay, story, or book that reminds me what an astonishing joy reading can be. What distinguishes such pieces for me is that they succeed in several things at once: they amuse, inform, and provoke. I recently read something that pushed all these buttons, and more.  I was so delighted, in fact, that I insisted on reading it aloud to my wife.

I’m talking about Robert Louis Stevenson’s “An Apology for Idlers“, from which I quoted in my last post. (Hat tip: Alex Masie’s blog at The Spectator.) My wife and I are both primed to hear a defense of idlers, as we have lately begun practicing the fine art of doing nothing, and one thing we’ve learned so far is that we’re not very good at it.

So I pass along this essay to you as a weekend treat, to  be enjoyed when you’re feeling at your leisure. Stevenson’s charming, witty, and incisive reflections form such a good meditation on the virtues of idlers and idleness that no further defense is needed.  (Oh, and Bella Caledonia’s inclusion of Bob Marley’s song, Don’t Worry Be Happy, is an inspired additional treat.)

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