Joshua Glenn and Mark Kingwell, co-authors of The Idlers’ Glossary, examine the character of Leonard Timbrell in light of the modern “idler.”  Just as Leonard shocks Edwardian society by refusing to work and questioning the status quo, so the modern idler questions current work and social structures.  Indeed, “to be idle” in the philosophic tradition is not to reject work, but to contemplate—and perhaps redefine—the very nature of work itself.

Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, editor, and semiotics analyst. In addition to co-authoring The Idler’s Glossary, he is the co-author or co-editor of Taking Things Seriously, The Wage-Slave’s Glossary, Significant Objects, and Unbored.  He is also a co-founder of the websites HiLoBrow, Significant Objects, and Semionaut.   In the 1990s, he edited the philosophy and pop-culture-themed Hermenaut, described by Michael Stutz of Wired as “a scholarly journal minus the university, a sounding board for thinking folk who operate outside the ivory tower.” Glenn has a master’s degree in teaching from Boston University.

Mark Kingwell is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. As a philosopher, he has focused on questions of social obligation and the role of citizenship in maintaining a just and democratic society. He is the author of several books, including Glenn Gould, Opening Gambits, Concrete Reveries, Nearest Thing to Heaven, Nothing for Granted, The World We Want, and Better Living. He is also co-editor of Rites of Way: The Politics and Poetics of Public Space.  He has won the Spitz Prize for political theory, the Drummer-General’s Award for non-fiction, and national magazine awards for his essays and columns.  Dr. Kingwell holds a Ph.D and MPhil from Yale University.

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