An absolutely marvellous publication this one, we think that The Idler would have found just as fine a reception in Victorian England as it does here.
The Idler is undeniably old-fashioned, a publication that celebrates independence and liberty and scoffs at the idea of hard work. This excellently presented publication features an eclectic mix of diversions – revealing and fascinating conversations with persons of note, cultured and intelligent essays on all manner of things – though each edition has a central theme – and extracts from excellent works of fiction from throughout history. This is the kind of cultured periodical that would work wonderfully with a leisurely cup of coffee in a fine establishment – perhaps even the Idler Bookshop and Café in London.
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The Idler is not simply about being lazy – such crude terminology does not come close to capturing the essence of this publication. It is about the art of giving yourself time, a much undervalued commodity in this hurly-burly modern world. Loafing, being idle is not simply not doing anything, it is about choosing to take that time and spend it how you wish to. The manifesto of the Editor, Mr. Tom Hodgkinson, states “Death to the supermarkets, bake bread, play the ukulele, open the village hall… stop consuming, start producing”
When we stated above that this is the kind of publication that would have felt at home in the 19th –or perhaps even the 18th – Century, that is because it that period it takes its inspiration from, naming itself after a series of essays by Dr. Johnson published in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1758-59.
If you can appreciate the concept of taking life as it comes, of idling rather than rushing through, of appreciating the beauty and elegance of the world rather than being in a huge hurry to speed through it, then the Idler may be for you. It is more than simply a publication, it is now a movement, with The Idler Academy of Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment, a fine bookshop and café, having been opened in London in 2011.
Life was once described as akin to the flight of a bird in the night, passing through a window into a brightly lit hall for a fleeting moment before quickly exiting through another window. Why not stay and idle a little while in this world whilst you are passing through? NB