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2024년 2월 19일

이번 선정 도서는 "불안" 입니다.



우리는 사랑받기 위해서 높은 지위를 갈망한다.


우리 안에는 자신도 모르지만 무의식적으로 다른 사람의 관심과 사랑을 바라는 마음이 자리하고 있다.


우리는 모두 관종끼가 어느정도 있다.


우리가 사회에서 위치한 사회적 지위의 높고 낮음 때문에 불안해하는 이유 중 하나로 사랑 결핍이 있다. 더 높은 지위에 위치하면 주변 사람과 사회로부터 더 많은 관심과 사랑을 받을 수 있기 때문에 우리는 높은 지위를 바라는 마음을 갖는다 는 이야기다.


다른 사람들이 나를 어떻게 생각하고 판단하는지가 우리의 정체성을 확립하는데 아주 중요한 요소 중 하나이기 때문에, 다른 사람의 관심은 중요하다. 현실에서 우리 자신은 나라는 사람에 대해서 똑똑하다는 증거를 댈 수도 있고 반대로 멍청 하다는 증거도 댈 수 있다. 우리 스스로를 완전 정 반대로 해석하고 판단할 수 있기 때문에 스스로의 판단으로는 정체성을 확립하기가 다소 곤란하다. 우리의 판단이 이렇게 혼란스럽다면 사회의 태도가 우리의 의미를 결정하기 마련이다.


부분 발췌: 상상은 현실이 된다 (2020.03.20), 불안의 이유, 알랭 드 보통 <불안>, 티스토리, 원본링크


"우리는 적은 것을 기대하면 적은 것으로 행복할 수도 있다. 반면 모든 것을 기대하도록 학습을 받으면 많은 것을 가지고도 비참할 수 있다. 우리는 조상보다 훨씬 더 많은 것을 기대한다. 그 대가는 우리가 현재의 모습과 달라질 수 있는데도 실제로는 달라지지 못하는 데서 오는 끊임없는 불안이다."


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불안

원제: Status Anxiety

Book by Alain de Botton

- 모임날짜: 3/16/2024 (토)

모임시간: 3:30 - 5:30PM EST

모임장소: Zoom Meeting


+ 참석을 원하는 분들은 오픈톡에서 RSVP를 부탁드립니다.


+ 온라인모임입니다. 당일 오전에 카카오톡을 통해 개인별로 초대장이 발송되니, 운영자 "재호"와 1:1 대화기록이 없는 분들은, DMV북클럽 오픈챗방에서 아이디 "재호"를 찾아 1:1 Open Chat 줌 링크를 요청해주세요.


+ 자유롭게 대화하는 편안한 형태의 모임입니다. 반대와 찬성을 가르는 논제식 토론이 아니라 소감과 의견을 공유하고 공감하며 열린분들과 책에 대한 인사이트를 나눕니다. 부담없이 참여 부탁드립니다.


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I am writing this review on a laptop in a luxurious room in the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. Seven floors below in the lobby pop star Kylie Minogue, who's also staying here, is running a gauntlet of fans as she makes her way to yet another music awards ceremony. What brings Kylie and me to such a prestigious address? According to Alain de Botton, we are looking for love; specifically, we desire the feelings of significance, acumen and achievement that are supposedly conferred by the ability to rent a room in a five-star hotel. Yet even as we enjoy the freebie chocolates and surf the myriad television channels, Kylie and I know that this feeling is all-to contingent. As de Botton puts it; "…we may fail due to stupidity or an absence of self-knowledge, macro-economics or malevolence." We are prey, in other words, to status anxiety.


It is this craving for status and the fear of its loss that de Botton sets out to explore in a diverting, if ultimately unrewarding, new book, Status Anxiety. de Botton is the author of Consolations of Philosophy and How Proust Can Change Your Life and has demonstrated a knack for memorable maxims and a light, readable style. Collectors of recondite information will find much to enjoy in this work. We learn that Napoleon Bonaparte and Thomas Paine shared a disdain for hereditary preferment and that Matthew Arnold was the proud possessor of eccentrically long sideburns. de Botton tells us that dancing supplanted fighting as the main method by which an Englishmen might impress a woman in 1750 when the notion of "the gentleman" took root and he provides the novel -- at least, novel to me -- information that a fad for breastfeeding among high-born woman of the late 18th century led them to bare their breasts at any opportunity, behavior which the cartoonists of the day were quick to satirize.


In trade newspapers in Great Britain Status Anxiety is being plugged with the strapline "Get this book -- everyone else will," which demonstrates that his publishers, if not de Botton himself, have spotted the fatal irony which pulls the rug out from under the whole enterprise: the book itself is a status symbol. Whether or not you read it, agree with it, or find it bogus is beside the point. The chief thing is to own it and thereby prove your superiority in the world of cultural studies.

Ho-hum. But now it is time to close down my laptop and repair to the eye-wateringly expensive Ritz-Carlton bar. Otherwise how will anyone know I am here? And where would be the sense in that?


부분 발췌: John Keenan(04.2004) Status Check. January Magazine. 원본링크


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This book takes a really interesting look at a common phenomenon which was never much of an issue until the early nineteenth century (although we do see examples as far back as the New Testament). You'd think that ushering in an era of equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, gender or background, would have to be a good thing, right? Well, it would seem every sparkling rainbow might have a cloudy lining, to twist a popular proverb around a bit. In this case, the beast that raised its ugly head is called meritocracy.


In a nutshell, when people used to be born into fixed social positions, their destinies were out of their control, so they just made the best of the hands fate dealt them. But now, most western individuals are born into a society in which there are far more life options than ever before, and theoretically, somebody born in a ghetto or slum has the potential to become rich and famous. Now that we are all held responsible for shaping our own individual stories, the silent implication is that if we fall short of our goals, or miss some social measuring stick, then we're losers and flops.


In the first half of this book, Alain de Botton takes a closer look at meritocracy and some of its nasty relatives, including snobbery and expectations. The second half studies ways in which people have tried to neutralise these over the years, so that status anxiety is no longer an issue. These include philosophy, art, politics, Christian tenets and Bohemian theories. I really like de Botton's eloquent way of writing, and the photos he's including to push home the points he makes.


His section on the arts includes the writing of great novels. So often, these aim to turn narrow social assumptions upside down and provide voices for marginalised people. They do it in a very persuasive, descriptive and fascinating way, which is partly why I've always loved reading them. Visual artists do similar things when they present humble scenes or modest people as some of the loveliest we can lay our eyes on.


There's a really thought-provoking thread in the Christianity section about how quickly all things pass away, putting all the energy we may expend to look good and impress the right people in a sort of perspective. It gets us wondering whether we should redefine what we consider a worthwhile pursuit or a waste of time. The photos of nature, ruins and antiquities just pushes home the point. This book is a keeper, which I'll put on my shelf to dip into at other times.


Some great quotes that stand out.


'We may be happy with little when we've come to expect little. And we may be miserable with much when we've been taught to expect everything.' William James


'The price we have paid for expecting to be so much more than our ancestors is a perpetual anxiety that we are far from being all we ought to be.' Alain de Botton


'Other people's heads are a wretched place for true happiness to have its seat.' Arthur Schopenhauer


And finally there's this sentence, which might be worth a ponder. 'Cynics are only idealists with awkwardly high standards.'


부분 발췌: Paula Vince (2017.07.31) 'Status Anxiety' by Alain de Botton. Google Blog. 원본링크

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