.

When hit by boredom, let yourself be crushed by it; submerge, hit bottom.

In general, with things unpleasant, the rule is: The sooner you hit bottom, the faster you surface.

The idea here is to exact a full look at the worst.

The reason boredom deserves such scrutiny is that it represents pure, undiluted time in all its repetitive, redundant, monotonous splendor.

Boredom is your window on the properties of time that one tends to ignore to the likely peril of one’s mental equilibrium.

It is your window on time’s infinity. Once this window opens, don’t try to shut it; on the contrary, throw it wide open.

Boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson in your life – the lesson of your utter insignificance.

It is valuable to you, as well as to those you are to rub shoulders with.

‘You are finite’, time tells you in a voice of boredom, ‘and whatever you do is, from my point of view, futile.’

As music to your ears, this, of course, may not count; yet the sense of futility, of limited significance even of your best, most ardent actions is better than the illusion of their consequence and the attendant self-satisfaction.

On Grief and Reason: Essays

Iosif Brodsky (24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996) was a Russian-American poet and essayist.

Born in Leningrad in 1940, Brodsky ran afoul of Soviet authorities and was expelled („strongly advised“ to emigrate) from the Soviet Union in 1972, settling in the United States with the help of W. H. Auden and other supporters.

He taught thereafter at Mount Holyoke College, and at universities including Yale, Columbia, Cambridge, and Michigan.

Brodsky was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature „for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity“. He was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1991.

According to Professor Andrey Ranchin of Moscow State University: “Brodsky is the only modern Russian poet whose body of work has already been awarded the honorary title of a canonized classic… Brodsky‘s literary canonization is an exceptional phenomenon. No other contemporary Russian writer has been honored as the hero of such a number of memoir texts; no other has had so many conferences devoted to them”.