Are You Serious?: How to Be True and Get Real in the Age of Silly

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9780061766039: Are You Serious?: How to Be True and Get Real in the Age of Silly

LeeSiegel, author of Falling Upwards, Not RemotelyControlled, and Against the Machine delivers a provocative critique ofmodern lightness and frivolity, and a timely guide to being serious in an unserious age. In the vein of The Culture of Narcissism, Shop Class as Soulcraft, and How Proust Can Change Your Life,Siegel offers a revelatory look at how a serious bearing is vital toaccomplishing any worthwhile goal in an era increasingly defined by a sardonicapproach to life.

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From the Back Cover:

A provocative critique of modern frivolity and a guide to being serious in an unserious age

We used to live in a world run by serious people: politicians and religious leaders, writers and artists, journalists and academics, lawyers and business executives, who approached their work with maturity and mindfulness. Today it seems as if most of these figures have all but disappeared, leaving our country and our culture in the hands of amateurs, buffoons, and professional clowns.

Yet, according to Lee Siegel, seriousness has been elusive in every age, and every age has its own particular obstacles to living seriously. In a unique combination of fiction, memoir, history, social criticism, satire, and spiritual reflection, Siegel illuminates our contemporary distractions of profit, popularity, and instant pleasure as we search for ways to be serious in culture, in politics, and in everyday life.

Are You Serious? is a thoughtful and enlightening exploration of seriousness in all its incarnations, from the heights of intellectual endeavor to the depths of political conflict to how the word itself is used in ordinary situations, from romance to business. Siegel lays bare the forces in modern life that create the silliness all around us, and he describes how seriousness may be attained through the qualities of attention, purpose, and continuity, in satisfying lives forged in bonds of work and love.

About the Author:

Lee Siegel writes about culture and politics for a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and is a recipient of the National Magazine Award. He is the author of three books: Falling Upwards: Essays in Defense of the Imagination; Not Remotely Controlled: Notes on Television; and Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.

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