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The triumph of the slippers : on the withdrawal from the world

ISBN: 9781509559527
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Polity
Origin: GB
Release Date: May, 2024

Book Details

Since the beginning of the 21st century, global warming, terrorism, the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine have created a widespread feeling that the world is an increasingly dangerous place. In response to this situation, it is understandable that many people are inclined to retreat to the safety of their home – the last refuge and safeguard against the savagery of the outside world. But the home is not just a shelter: it is a space that supplants and replaces the world, a wired cocoon that gradually renders any journey to the outside world superfluous. From our couch, we can enjoy remotely the pleasures once offered by the cinema, the theatre and the cafe. Everything, from food to love to art, can be delivered to your door. Armed with a smartphone and a Netflix account, why would anyone risk life and limb to venture out to the cinema? Compulsory confinement, the nightmare of the pandemic years, seems to have been replaced by voluntary self-confinement. Fleeing from the cities, working remotely, relinquishing travel and tourism, we risk becoming reclusive creatures that cower at the slightest tremor. In this witty and spirited book, Pascal Bruckner takes aim at today’s voluntary seclusionism and the self-inflicted atrophy that comes with it, tracing its philosophical contours and historical roots. It is no longer the tyranny of lockdowns that threatens us but rather the tyranny of the sofa: will the slipper and the dressing gown be the new symbols of tomorrow’s world?