Thursday, April 24, 2008
Let's get a little brainy here
I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. For those of you who have read it, I am just at the start of the Bali section. So far, I have enjoyed the overall style of the book. I think Gilbert has some brilliant moments, especially the harrowing description of Loneliness and Depression (depicted as two heavy-handed goons) tracking her down in Rome. While it isn't the best book I have read recently, it might be the most readable. And despite the common criticism of the book that it is waylaid by the author's self-indulgence, I think the memoir nature of the content makes that a forgivable sin.
So far, the best nugget I will take away from the book (and since I have also heard that the Indonesia section marks a steep nosedive in the flow, this will most likely remain the highlight) is Gilbert's description of the Italian expression il bel far niente, which translates as "the beauty of doing nothing". The author laments the North American's inability to take in the simple pleasures of life. She suggests that we seek pleasure as aggressively as we perform the chores of life...with too much purpose. I agree. In fact, I love doing nothing. I have always been exceedingly good at nothing and there is nothing like a beautiful Italian expression celebrating this special talent of mine to make me feel validated in my sloth. So, thanks for that Elizabeth Gilbert. Oh, and Italy I guess.