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Wakey Wakey

Susan Eilenberg, 19 October 1995

Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind 
by Patricia MeyerSpacks.
Chicago, 290 pp., £19.99, January 1995, 0 226 76853 8
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... enabled novelists and other practitioners of culture to persist and thrive in the face of what Patricia MeyerSpacks calls ‘psychic entropy’. One of the oddities of Boredom is that, having amassed evidence of its subject’s profundity and pervasiveness (what could be more profound or more pervasive than ...

Closets of Knowledge

Frank Kermode: Privacy, 19 June 2003

Privacy: Concealing the 18th-Century Self 
by Patricia MeyerSpacks.
Chicago, 248 pp., £25.50, May 2003, 0 226 76860 0
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... if non-professors choose to read it. Before she gets on to the 18th century, her favourite period, Patricia MeyerSpacks makes some initial remarks about ‘privacy’ and related words, intending to show that privacy is in our time regarded as wholly desirable, indeed as a human right, whereas in the past it could mean ...

Great Fun

John Bayley, 22 January 1987

by Patricia MeyerSpacks.
Chicago, 287 pp., £9.25, November 1986, 0 226 76844 9
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The Bonus of Laughter 
by Alan Pryce-Jones.
Hamish Hamilton, 263 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 241 11903 0
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... of an intelligent and informal analysis of the concept, chiefly in its relation to literature, Patricia Spacks remarks on the absence of adolescent pregnancy in China, and connects it with the compulsory retirement, under the Communist regime, of men at 55 and women at 50. There is thus a vast reserve of voluntary spies whose socially acceptable ...


Elaine Showalter: At the Modern Language Association , 9 February 1995

... of Chicago sponsored an evening cruise in San Diego Bay, to honour the publication of Boredom by Patricia MeyerSpacks, the outgoing MLA president; but the prospect of one and a half hours at sea was too restrictive for some in this restless Nineties crowd. ‘Are you going to the Boredom cruise?’ one blasé young ...

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