Idleness and Creativity

Sven Birkets is one of the foremost critics of our “Electronic Age.” In this lovely and insightful essay from 2011, he posits that our distracting lives prevent us from reaping the many benefits of idleness. What does he mean, exactly, by idleness?

“It is,” he writes, “the soul’s first habitat, the original self ambushed—cross-sectioned—in its state of nature, before it has been stirred to make a plan, to direct itself toward something.”