Ignaas Devisch / Ignaas Devisch – Restlessness

Ignaas Devisch – Restlessness

Ignaas Devisch – Restlessness

Read our sample translation of Restlessness 


About the book

We work less, but we have more to do. We have more free time, but we sleep less. While we complain about stress, rushing and the danger of burn-outs, we plan overfilled days. In short, our time is becoming ‘obese’. We cram everything in and are no longer able to mess about or truly do nothing. Anyone who thinks restlessness is a phenomenon specific to our own times is mistaken. For centuries people have sought a solution to a problem of which they themselves are the cause: an excessively full life. But is restlessness really a problem or one of our primary motivations? Passion, creativity and desire are the result of impatience, writes philosopher and physician Ignaas Devisch. In defiance of all appeals to slow down and of calls for spirituality and asceticism, this book advocates a balance between relaxation and dynamism.




Devisch takes a stand for passion, creativity and dreams; positive concerns that are the result of that ever-persistent rush forward. Restlessness is neither a fiction nor a self-help book, but rather a startlingly and stunningly written essay on how we can relate to that hectic changing world – from the jury report, Best Spiritual Book Award 2016.

Restlessness is an exceptionally accessible and multidimensional book about a theme that nevertheless remains a main feature of Western culture. Devisch wants to describe rather than moralise, though in his plea for a restless, creative and passionate existence the moral peeks at us from around the corner. But then that’s also the charm of this book.**** - Trouw

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough. – William Blake

An extremely worthwhile read. As well as a philosophical and historical exploration of troubling feelings, Devisch extends to us something we can grasp in order to pull ourselves out of the morass. – Knack


Ignaas Devisch (b. 1970) is professor of ethics, philosophy and medical philosophy at the University of Ghent and the Artevelde College. He publishes in the fields of social, medical and political philosophy. His critical essay about medicalization, Sick of Health, was published by De Bezige Bij in 2013.

© Koen Broos

Additional book information 

  • Philosophy
  • ISBN 9789023494188
  • Number of pages: 272
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,90
  • Featured by The Flemish Literature Fund