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Revista Brasileira de Psicanálise

versão impressa ISSN 0486-641X


SALEM, Pedro. Between lyricism and despair: variations on the meanings of “boredom”. Rev. bras. psicanál [online]. 2017, vol.51, n.3, pp. 19-35. ISSN 0486-641X.

Starting from the assumption that boredom is a social construction, this article attempts to highlight some of the most prevalent meanings of this state in the recent history of the West. After examining emotions that precede boredom and analyzing the factors that have enabled it to emerge in modernity, the author points out the way the main meanings of boredom have changed over the last three centuries. This article shows that, in the eighteenth century, boredom was related to the idea of a moral weakness. However, under the influence of Romanticism, in the nineteenth century, it was considered an emotion with a lyrical content, i.e., an emotion that provided distinction to individuals. In the twentieth century, some aspects of the sociocultural environment, especially the cult of sensations, define the meanings of boredom. Finally, the author invokes psychoanalytic interpretations in order to explore the important role of boredom in child development.

Palavras-chave : boredom; history of mentalities; contemporary subjectivity; Psychoanalysis.

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