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The Secret World of Doing Nothing$
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Orvar Lofgren and Billy Ehn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262614

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262614.001.0001

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(p.123) Chapter Three Daydreaming
The Secret World of Doing Nothing

Billy Ehn

Orvar Löfgren

University of California Press

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

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