Are You Serious?: How to Be True and Get Real in the Age of Silly (Google eBook)
A provocative critique of modern frivolity and a guide to being serious in an unserious age
We used to live in a world run by serious people: politicians and religious leaders, writers and artists, journalists and academics, lawyers and business executives, who approached their work with maturity and mindfulness. Today it seems as if most of these figures have all but disappeared, leaving our country and our culture in the hands of amateurs, buffoons, and professional clowns.
Yet, according to Lee Siegel, seriousness has been elusive in every age, and every age has its own particular obstacles to living seriously. In a unique combination of fiction, memoir, history, social criticism, satire, and spiritual reflection, Siegel illuminates our contemporary distractions of profit, popularity, and instant pleasure as we search for ways to be serious in culture, in politics, and in everyday life.
Are You Serious? is a thoughtful and enlightening exploration of seriousness in all its incarnations, from the heights of intellectual endeavor to the depths of political conflict to how the word itself is used in ordinary situations, from romance to business. Siegel lays bare the forces in modern life that create the silliness all around us, and he describes how seriousness may be attained through the qualities of attention, purpose, and continuity, in satisfying lives forged in bonds of work and love.
What people are saying - Write a review
This is an excellent and eloquent guide to the serious and the silly in public discourse. It is refreshingly free of the dogma and takes no sides in the left/right debate. It is an easy read, yet still packed with great quotes, anecdotes, and historical references. I highly recommend it!
Review: Are You Serious?: How to Be True and Get Real in the Age of SillyUser Review - Charles - Goodreads
As Siegel mentions, many times over, too often we take the artifice or the performance of seriousness for the real thing, though it is silliness wearing a deceptive mask. Siegel attempts to both ... Read full review
The Urge to Be chapter
The Three chapter five