Thus Held by Boredom in Boredom: Blanchot’s Everyday

by Christian Parreno

[…] As we discovered through the experience of boredom when indeed boredom seems to be the sudden, the insensible apprehension of the quotidian into which we slide in the leveling out of a steady slack time, feeling ourselves forever sucked in, yet feeling at the same time that we have already lost it and are henceforth incapable of deciding whether there is a lack of the everyday or too much of it – thus held by boredom in boredom, which develops, says Friedrich Schlegel, just as carbon dioxide accumulates in a closed space where too many people find themselves together.

Boredom is the everyday become manifested: consequently, the everyday after it has lost its essential – constitutive – trait of being unperceived. Thus the everyday always sends us back to that inapparent and nonetheless unconcealed part of existence that is insignificant because it remains always to the hither side of what signifies it; silent, but with a silence that has already dissipated as soon as we keep still in order to hear it and that we hear better in idle chatter, in the unspeaking speech that is the soft human murmuring in us and around us.

Blanchot, Maurice. The Infinite Conversation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993. 242