Culture and politics of laziness, from fairy tales to Oblomov and Bartleby




Laziness, Narrativity, Values, Having-to-do


The thesis of this paper is that laziness is not a psychological property of an individual subject but a collective sentiment: it is a reaction, or perhaps even a rebellion, against those who lock us within a culture that sees activity as a supreme value, often as an end in itself. Laziness is the response to those who force us to do and overdo, to give ourselves over to our occupations with zeal and constancy, total dedication and blind perseverance. So, it is not true that a lazy person does nothing, rather they do everything they can in order to not do anything. They work frantically in order to create the perfect conditions that allow them to activate their inertia. This paper tries to prove this thesis by analyzing some exemplary texts such as Goncharov's Oblomov, and linking it, upstream, with traditional Russian fairy tales and, downstream, with Melville Bartleby's famous tale.


Não há dados estatísticos.

Biografia do Autor

Gianfranco Marrone, Università di Palermo

Professore ordinario di Semiotica nell'Università di Palermo, Italia.


AFANASYEV, Alexander. Russian Folktales from the Collection of A. Afanasyev. London: Dover Publications, 2014.

GONCHAROV, Ivan Aleksandrovich. Oblomov. New York: Bunim & Bannigan, 2006.

PROPP, Vladimir Ja. Morphology of the Folk Tale. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958.




Como Citar

Marrone, G. . (2021). Culture and politics of laziness, from fairy tales to Oblomov and Bartleby . Estudos Semióticos, 17(2), 242-263.



Marginalidades e crises culturais