Billy Ehn and Orvar Löfgren

in The Secret World of Doing Nothing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262614
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945708 | DOI:

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This chapter draws attention to a nine-year-old boy, Bramwell Brontë, and his three sisters, and their daydreaming adventures that later turned into the writing of plays and texts in miniature books. Daydreaming was not, however, an unproblematic activity. There has been an intense debate on the dangers, especially for young women of good standing, of getting trapped in a fantasy world produced by the perilous state of doing nothing. Idleness and boredom were seen as platforms for unhealthy flights of fantasy. This chapter also introduces six other more or less famous daydreamers from different times. Later, it discusses the kinds of arenas and situations that are productive for daydreaming, and how they are organized. It also discusses how daydreaming activates both mind and body and how fantasizing moves between being stuck in a special place and leaving that place and temporarily attaining a feeling of freedom. Finally it highlights daydreaming as an ideological battlefield, a moral terrain with heated disputes about merits and dangers.

Keywords: daydreaming; Bramwell Brontë; fantasy world; daydreamers; fantasy

Chapter.  30263 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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