The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hample is “a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude,” and it’s getting many of my allotted reading minutes at the moment. It’s rather perfect for these times of armchair travel and virus inspired daydreaming.
Why I like it: I tend to feel bad about not accomplishing much on a given day, but now that I know it’s an art form, I’m all in. I can feel good again. Carry on.
A favorite writing inspiration: The author doesn’t believe in the narrative arc, “that fiction of fictions.” I find this more than a bit freeing, along with the idea that the final destination of a novel or story is “the creation of form offering the illusion of inevitability, the denial of chaos.” The author wanders and muses about travel, writing, her lost love, and those musers who have gone before her, like the father of the personal essay, Michel de Montaigne. A bit of a ramble, but then again, perfect for these times when we aren’t sure where we’re heading. The idea of leisure takes on new significance now…
Unlike life, novels are “deftly organized, filled with the satisfaction of shape,” which is probably why I have yet to finish one, but this book is helping me along my way while also letting me off the hook in the name of art.