Synopses & Reviews
In An Education in Happiness (Un'educazione alla felicita), Flavia Arzeni discusses that most elusive of mental states, happiness, and how two of the twentieth century's greatest writers and Nobel-Pize winners, Rabindranath Tagore and Hermann Hesse, thought we should seek it.
Happiness is neither a privilege of the few, nor a fleeting state of mind: it is hidden behind a door that every person can open once they have found it, at the end of an arduous journey of self-discovery.
Tagore and Hesse are arguably very different: one comes to us from the core of Indian culture, the other from the very heart of Old Europe; the former is an eternal wanderer, the latter a determined armchair traveller. Still, there are extraordinary affinities between their works, and they both understood that the path to happiness is paved with small acts and simple notions.
Arzeni offers us an oasis of stability and calm in which we can find the answers to our fundamental concerns about life and happiness.
Flavia Arzeni's An Education in Happiness is translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis published by Pushkin Press.
Flavia Arzeni is Professor of Modern German Literature at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University La Sapienza in Rome.
'An enchanting and passionate book, a sophisticated literary essay on the inner paths of two great authors tied to the orient.' Corriere della sera
Arzenis book offers us an oasis of stability and calm in which we can find the answers to our happiness.
The two Nobel Prize–winning writers Rabindranath Tagore and Herman Hesse are arguably very different, yet they both understood that the path to happiness is paved with small acts and simple notions. Flavia Arzeni's book offers us an oasis in which we may find the answers to our fundamental concerns about life and happiness.
About the Author
Flavia Arzeni is Professor of Modern German Literature at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University La Sapienza in Rome. Her previous works include Images and Symbols.Japonism in European Culture between the 19th and 20th century (Il Mulino, 1987), Berlin, A Literary Journey (Sellerio, 1997) and The Journey to Rome. From Freud to Pina Bausch (Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2001).
An Education in Happiness: The Lessons of Hesse and Tagore was first published in Italian by Rizzoli in 2008 and was awarded the Grinzane Pavese prize.
The author has travelled extensively and lived in Tokyo, London and Washington DC.