V is for Volupté
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Idleness, Read-outs

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.

VOLUPTÉ

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.

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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 | Wage Slavery | Xerox Subsidy | Yakuza | Zero Drag

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Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based semiotic culture and brand analyst. He is editor/publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age science fiction imprint HILOBOOKS. In addition, Josh is co-author of several books, including (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) the family activities guides UNBORED, UNBORED GAMES, and the forthcoming UNBORED ADVENTURE. In the ’00s, Josh was an editor and columnist for the BOSTON GLOBE's IDEAS section; in the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT.