Our culture values striving, purpose, achievement, and accumulation. This book asks us to get sidetracked along the way. It praises aimlessness as a source of creativity and an alternative to the demand for linear, efficient, instrumentalist thinking and productivity.
Aimlessness collects ideas and stories from around the world that value indirection, wandering, getting lost, waiting, meandering, lingering, sitting, laying about, daydreaming, and other ways to be open to possibility, chaos, and multiplicity. Tom Lutz considers aimlessness as a fundamental human proclivity and method, one that has been vilified by modern industrial societies but celebrated by many religious traditions, philosophers, writers, and artists. He roams a circular path that snakes and forks down sideroads, traipsing through modernist art, nomadic life, slacker comedies, drugs, travel, nirvana, and oblivion. The book is structured as a recursive, disjunctive spiral of short sections, a collage of narrative, anecdotal, analytic, and lyrical passages—intended to be read aimlessly, to wind up someplace unexpected.
Disocunt code CUP@) gives 20% off at Columbia UP site.More info →
And the Monkey Learned Nothing is my second volume of travel writings, a sequel to Drinking Mare's Milk on the Roof of the Word. The third and fourth volumes are on their way.More info →
As I attempt to visit every corner of the globe, on an obsessive quest to go everywhere, I have tried to figure out why—what drives me toward the unknown, what pushes me down the most obscure roads I can find, what is this compulsion, this wanderlust, all about?More info →