V is for Volupté

By: Joshua Glenn
July 2, 2012

A series of 26 posts featuring excerpts from Joshua Glenn’s The Idler’s Glossary (Biblioasis, 2008) and The Wage Slave’s Glossary (Biblioasis, 2011). Both books were coauthored by Mark Kingwell, who contributed entertaining philosophical-critical essays on the subjects of idling and wage slavery; and both were wittily illustrated and designed by the cartoonist Seth.


Aldous Huxley, noting with approval that the French are neither concerned with trying to find a metaphysical justification for the raptures of physical passion, nor propagandists of sensuality, suggests that there is no English equivalent for volupté [from the Latin for “pleasure.”] If “voluptuousness,” meaning “full of pleasure to the senses,” carried the connotation of detached (but not blasé) enjoyment, we’d be close: The Epicurean seeks the detached pleasure known as volupté; the sybarite, voluptuousness.

NB: Volupté is impossible to illustrate. The illustration shown here is taken from the gloss on VOLUPTUARY; the gent pictured in it is practicing voluptuousness, not volupté.


ALSO: Alienation | Big Rock Candy Mountains | Corporation | Dawdle | Employee of the Month | Flazy | Greybearding | Hobo | Inemuri | Jack of All Trades | Knock Off Work | Lazy | Micawberish | Nobbing It | Onboarding | Pink Slip | Quitter | Robot | Stakhanovite | Time and Motion Study | Unemployment | Volupté | Wage Slavery | Xerox Subsidy | Yakuza | Zero Drag


Idleness, Read-outs

What do you think?

  1. Mais qui. The true disciple of Epicurus, not the gormands who follow cooking shows featuring deep-fried candy bars as entres’.(pardon my non-french typewriting with its uninflected accents!).

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