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« Doing nothing » : Robert Burns et l'ambiguïté de la skholê

Abstract : In “The Vision”, Robert Burns dramatises a figure of the poet brooding over the hopelessness of his poetical achievements, seen as a pure waste of time in relation to other more financially profitable activities. But Robert Burns as a poet is fully aware that it is only during his spare time that he can write his poems and songs. Why does he condemn leisure so fiercely in many of his poems? The reason is that he is in two minds about it: in peasant circles, leisure is tantamount to idleness, and idleness is viewed as the vice of the upper society. But it is also in that period that the conception of leisure undergoes a dramatic evolution in a time of growing industrial development. Burns foresees a possible “serious leisure” (which Bourdieu, after Plato, calls “skholê”), making way for creation and recreation.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-01700537
Contributor : Yann Tholoniat <>
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Yann Tholoniat. « Doing nothing » : Robert Burns et l'ambiguïté de la skholê. Recherches Anglaises et Nord Americaines, Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2006, pp.91-113. ⟨hal-01700537⟩

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