Then Sartre Escaped

sartre

This is from Sarah Bakewell’s superb new book At the Existentialist Cafe.

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Mis Au Placard

We salute Frédéric Desnard who is suing his employer for boring him into stupor.

A Frenchman who claims he was given so little to do at work he suffered “bore out” is taking his case to an employment tribunal on Monday.

Frédéric Desnard says his managerial job at the perfume company, which made him redundant 18 months ago, was so tedious he became exhausted and literally bored out of his mind.

The 44-year-old said his “descent into hell” was similar to a burnout, but less interesting.

A great precedent and, if nothing else, the case has taught us the term mis au placard, meaning “put in the cupboard” or given only menial tasks to do.

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Thumbnails

All of our artists work differently. Some read the article and draw whatever they feel like. Some ask us for quite specific ideas or instructions. Tristan Tolhurst, a friend from Montreal, usually sends a selection of thumbnails from which we choose a favourite.

When you’re useless at drawing like I am, even these doodles are deeply impressive and it feels a shame not to share them any further than Tristan’s bottom drawer. So here are his latest ones.

For the forthcoming Issue 13, Tristan is illustrating Matt Caulfield’s article about Ryōkan, the party monk. You can click to embiggen.

Ryokan-smaller

While we’re at it, here are some old ones from Issue 8 (the Luke Rhinehart interview):

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And from Issue 5 (my piece about living in a loft):

Above it all smaller

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That Old Chestnut

canoeing

The Chestnut Prospector is the most celebrated canoe in literature, and I have my eye on a blue beauty for sale online. For the past few months I’ve been reading everything I can about canoes. Recently, my search has become more urgent: I turn 40 in a month.

It’s not a midlife crisis – I am not shopping for a sports car or getting a tattoo (yet). My quest for a canoe is more an exploration of what I want the next chapter of my life to be, in the spirit of Henry David Thoreau as he famously set out into the woods to “live deliberately.” Thoreau was 40 when he embarked on the classic trip that inspired his book Canoeing in the Wilderness. He was known to paddle a Chestnut canoe, and once said: “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.”

I was googling Thoreau in lazy preparation for our upcoming “Outliers” issue, Thoreau being a great figurehead of outlying in more ways than one, and this news story from Toronto popped up. I read and enjoyed it. Yes, acquiring a canoe is the Canadian answer for everything, but sometimes it really makes sense!

You can of course read Thoreau’s Canoeing in the Wilderness online for free.

I used to be adventurous, always hiking, camping and enjoying nature. Now I work in an office tower, and in my rare free time I write. Both are sedentary and rather solitary pastimes. I crave movement. In my mind, a canoe is a transcendental vessel offering the desired mix of tranquility and adventure.

★ Buy the brand-new Issue 12 of New Escapologist at the shop; buy our popular digital bundle; join the mailing list for occasional newsletters and free gifts; or get the Escape Everything! book.

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