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Description de l’éditeur
From one of our greatest voices in modern philosophy, author of The Course of Love, The Consolations of Philosophy, Religion for Atheists and The School of Life - a lucid exploration of the state in which most of us spend most of our lives
'De Botton's wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing' Sunday Times
'Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject' Spectator
'Terribly funny, touches us all' Daily Mail
'Brilliant, enormously engaging' Guardian
Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it?
Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves.
Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire?
The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work explains why it is we do what we do all day, and applies sympathy, humour and insight to helping us make the most of it.
This pensive study explores work not as an economic or sociological phenomenon but as an existential predicament. Observing an eclectic sample of workers, from fishermen to a CEO of an accounting firm, de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life) counterposes "the expansive intelligence" embodied in vast business organizations with the blinkered routines of their human cogs and finds that tension rife with philosophical conundrums. Cookie marketers illustrate the link between happiness and triviality in bourgeois society; office drones wear "a mask of shallow cheerfulness" over "the fury and sadness continually aroused by their colleagues"; a visit to a satellite launch center contrasts the restrained self-effacement of rocket scientists with their power to "upstage the gods" during fiery blastoffs. De Botton's humanism recoils at the banality, crassness and forced optimism of the business mindset, but he admires its ability to construct the world and even finds poetry in a supermarket supply chain that flies "blood-red strawberries... over the Arctic Circle by moonlight, leaving a trail of nitrous oxide across a black and gold sky." (The book includes evocative photos of commercial and industrial sites.) De Botton's sprightly mix of reportage and rumination expands beyond the workplace to investigate the broader meaning of life.