Thinking about leisure and imagination

In a very interesting article, 'No More Work, Now Play!' The Korea Times invites us all to think about the importance of leisure. Staff writer Kim Ki-tae introduces two recent Korean books. One is called You Will Succeed As Much As You Play (Nonunmankum Songgonghanda) by Kim Chung-woon. The other is Play, Art and Imagination (Noriwa Yesul Kurigo Sangsangnyok) by Chin Cung-gwon.

A couple of quotes:

Kim’s approach is timely and fresh especially as he reminds us that the issue of leisure is not just a personal matter but a national subject. As he puts it, 'just as the nation’s outdated financing and banking system brought the financial crisis in the 1990s, the lagging leisure culture could pose a threat to society as well.'

Kim contends that it is playful people, not just diligent ones, that can give a fresh and creative perspective to the information era.

'They can redefine relations between pieces of information and reinterpret contexts of information we think we are familiar with. In doing so, they can add new and fresh value to old information,' Kim writes.

'The power of the playful comes from none other than 'joy.’ Those who pursue joy can be the creative playful ones.’

The professor asserts, however, that Korean culture has been suppressing joy. 'The antonym of work is not play, but sloth,' he notes.

As if echoing Kim’s voice, Chin also declares that the new era of imagination has come. 'The power of production in the future will be imagination. The 'Imagination Revolution’ has already begun,’he writes, according to The Korea Times.

Chin also suggests that we pay attention to the baroque era, which is similar to this post-modern era. Bearing in mind Italian scholar Umberto Eco’s comparison of the medieval era with the post modern one, Chin writes that the baroque imagination involves science and fantasy, while the medieval imagination is rather related to sorcery or theology. 'Maybe we can call this era `neo-baroque,’Chin writes.

I think I will spend the evening listening to Bach...


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