Portrait of the Artist as a Young Data-Entry Supervisor

 

It's time for an ambitious new literature of the office

By Alain de Botton
May 31, 2009

Without quite grasping the extent of our debt, we rely on writers to help explain the world to us. It's they who give us a feel for what it's like to fall in love, who give us words for describing the landscape around us, and who help us interpret the dynamics of our families. Such is their power that we can name whole slices of experience with adjectives built of their names. We speak of encountering, sometimes in the most unlikely settings, dynamics most succinctly described as "Proustian," "Austenesque," and "Kafkan." Writers are our map-makers.

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