Notes - Happiness and Other Small Things of Absolute Importance (2016)

Happiness and Other Small Things of Absolute Importance (2016)


Chapter 1 Happiness Matters

p7 The imaginary Heine quote is based on his famous saying: ‘All I really want is enough to live on, a little house in the country ... and a tree in the garden with seven of my enemies hanging in it.’

p23 The quotation beginning ‘When we talk to God …’ is from Jane Wagner, In Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (stage show), 1986, performed by Lily Tomlin.

p25 The quotation from Joe Bousquet is to be found in Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester, University of Columbia Press, 1993 (first published 1969).

p26 Fight Club is a 1999 film directed by David Fincher with a screenplay by Jim Uhls. It is based on the novel of the same title by Chuck Palahniuk.

p31 Colin Wilson’s actual sentence about pessimism is: ‘It is to be suspected that literary pessimism is usually an expression of intellectual laziness.’ It comes from his book The Strength to Dream: Literature and the Imagination, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, Mass.) and Victor Gollancz (London), 1962.

Chapter 2 Emotions and Desires

p87 The 1971 musical comedy-drama movie Fiddler on the Roof was produced and directed by Norman Jewison. It is an adaptation of a 1964 Broadway musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, based on stories by Sholem Aleichem (the pen name of Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich) featuring Tevye the Dairyman.

p88 The 2010 movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was directed by Oliver Stone and written by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff.

Chapter 3 Imagination

p99 This poem is from Lea Goldberg’s Poems Vol 2, translated by Baruch Gefen, Sifriat Poalim (Tel Aviv), 1973.

Chapter 4 On Love, Briefly; or, What the Fox Knows

p119 The two quotations from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina are taken from an English rendition to be found online at

Chapter 5 In Search of Lost Time

p135 The ‘Shapira-Gefen principle’ is a principle invented by the author and his translator, Baruch Gefen.

p145 The study by Professor Yang Yang is published in Social Inequalities in Happiness in the United States, 1972 to 2004: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis, American Sociological Review, 73(2), 204-26.

Chapter 6 On Wisdom and Meaning

p159 The passage quoted from Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is from the 1922 translation by Louise and Aylmer Maude, now available from CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014) and as a Kindle ebook.