Event date: Saturday 21 March 2009
Alain de Botton
‘The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work’
We spend much of our lives at work, but surprisingly little gets written about what makes work both one of the most exciting and most painful of all our activities. Alain de Botton comes to the Runnymede Literary Festival to present his new, ninth book, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. This is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, evoking what other people get up to all day – and night – to make the frenzied contemporary world function. With a philosophical eye and his characteristic combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around a deliberately eclectic range of occupations, from rocket science to biscuit manufacture, accountancy to art – in search of what makes jobs either fulfilling or soul-destroying.
Along the way de Botton skilfully raises the big questions we all tend to ask of our work. What is the right job for me? How can I make the most of my talents? What should I be aiming for in my career?
Alain de Botton’s books include Essays in Love, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Art of Travel, Status Anxiety and The Architecture of Happiness.