Joie de vivre

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"Joy of living" redirects here. For the 1961 film, see The Joy of Living. For other uses, see Joy of life (disambiguation).
Eduard von Grützner's depiction of Falstaff, a literary character well known for his joie de vivre

Joie de vivre (French pronunciation: ​[ʒwa də vivʁ], joy of living) is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.

Joie de vivre

"can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… And joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life, a Weltanschauung. Robert's Dictionnaire says joie is sentiment exaltant ressenti par toute la conscience, that is, involves one's whole being."[1]

Origins and development[edit]

Casual use of the phrase in French can be dated back at least as far as Fénelon in the late 17th century, but it was only brought into literary prominence in the 19th century, first by Michelet (1857) in his pantheistic work Insecte, to contrast the passive life of plants with animal joie de vivre,[2]:300 and then by Émile Zola in his book of that name from 1883-4.[2]:305

Thereafter, it took on increasing weight as a mode of life, approximating at times almost to a secular religion,[2]:306 in the early 20th century; and subsequently fed into Lacanian emphasis on "a jouissance beyond the pleasure principle"[3] in the latter half of the century - a time when its emphasis on enthusiasm, energy and spontaneity gave it a global prominence with the rise of Hippie culture.[4]

Psychology[edit]

20th century proponents of self-actualization such as Abraham Maslow or Carl Rogers saw as one of the by-products the rediscovery of what the latter called "the quiet joy in being one's self...a spontaneous relaxed enjoyment, a primitive joie de vivre".[5]

Joie de vivre has also been linked to D. W. Winnicott's sense of play, and of access to the true self.[6]

Adaptations[edit]

Uniformly referenced in its standard French form by the educated, various corruptions are observed such as joie de vie which would translate to "joy of life." [7]

Literary examples[edit]

Seamus Heaney's status as a Romantic poet came under severe scrutiny, when it became apparent that he was not only cheerful and sociable, but also subject to fits of joie de vivre![8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shibles, Warren (1997). Humor Reference Guide: A Comprehensive Classification and Analysis. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0-8093-2097-5. 
  2. ^ a b c Harrow, Susan; Unwin, Timothy A; Freeman, Michael (2009). Joie de vivre in French literature and culture : essays in honour of Michael Freeman. Amsterdam, NTH & New York, NY: Rodopi Publishers. ISBN 9789042028968. OCLC 430229593. 
  3. ^ Lacan, Jacques; Miller, Jacques-Alain; Sheridan, Alan (1994). The four fundamental concepts of psycho-analysis. London, UK: Penguin Books. p. 184. ISBN 9780140242782. OCLC 33725110. 
    Later online version of The four fundamental concepts of psycho-analysis. London, UK & New York, NY: Karnac. 2004. OCLC 733841387 and 729166946. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Andrews, Cecile (2006). Slow is beautiful : new visions of community, leisure and joie de vivre. Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers. p. 96. ISBN 9781550924145. OCLC 471124890 and 810539385. 
  5. ^ Rogers, Carl R (1961). On becoming a person : a therapist's view of psychotherapy. Boston, MA, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 87–88. ISBN 9780395084090. OCLC 172718. 
    Later online versions of On becoming a person : a therapist's view of psychotherapy. OCLC 782873749, 783585017 and 856932797. (subscription required (help)). 
    On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy at Google Books
  6. ^ Lamb, Charles (1985). Phillips, Adam, ed. Selected prose. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, UK & New York, NY: Penguin classics. p. 446. ISBN 9780140432381. OCLC 680112630. 
  7. ^ "Joie de Vie Poodle Dog Wall Art". wayfair.com. Retrieved 2013-11-16. 
  8. ^ Malloy, Catharine; Carey, Phyllis, eds. (1996). Seamus Heaney : the shaping spirit. Newark, DE, USA: University of Delaware Press. p. 177. ISBN 9780874135817. OCLC 603915627. 

Further reading[edit]