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Beschreibung des Verlags
In The Happy Life David Malouf addresses one of the most fundamental questions of all: what makes for a happy life? In an age where our bookshelves are full of self-help volumes and tales of perfect romantic love, his discussion is particularly relevant. He asks why, when so many of the essential 'unhappinesses' - premature death, famine, plague, material poverty - have largely disappeared in the developed world, does happiness continue to elude us?
With elegance and insight, David Malouf finds new and old ways to talk about contentment and the self. He returns to the wisdom of the classics, and discusses how, thanks to Thomas Jefferson, happiness became a 'right'; in a dialogue on Rubens and Rembrandt he explores the sensual happiness of the flesh; he covers the difficulties of the modern world's obsession with consumption; and finally the consolation and sympathy provided by art and literature.
In luminous prose, with ideas to savour and reflect upon, Malouf distills millennia of thought and philosophy in The Happy Life into a fascinating and tangible argument.
In a world filled with devastating natural disasters and discouraging economic declines, who can be happy? As award-winning novelist and poet Malouf (Rabsin) reminds us in this yawn-inducing meditation, "happiness is surely among the simplest of human emotions and the most spontaneous." Drawing deeply from the philosophical wells of Plato, Heidegger, Jeremy Bentham, and others, he reminds us that philosophers have long distinguished the pleasures associated with material goods from the longer lasting contentment that comes from spiritual well-being. Happiness, for the ancients, lay in self-containment and self-sufficiency. Some 18th- and 19th-century thinkers promoted the idea that happiness occurs when individuals achieve certain goals, such as higher production or more land being brought under cultivation. Malouf reminds us that we often confuse the happy life with the good life, which we measure in material terms of proper food and housing, justice, civil liberty, and civil safety. In the end, after all his searching, Malouf comes to the less than profound conclusion that happiness grows out of a balanced life, and that happiness is subjective different for every person and fleeting, much like the lessons of this simplistic book.