David Malouf on the Good Life

(Click to watch video.)

(Click to watch video.)

Until a generation or two ago, we were taught virtue and duty should be the guiding principles of living well. These days we’re haunted by the idea of happiness. Happiness doesn’t seem to be a matter of ‘do the right thing’ as much as ‘do the enjoyable thing’.

So what’s the connection between happiness and the good life? To coincide with the publication of the latest Quarterly Essay, The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World, its author David Malouf - one of Australia’s most highly regarded writers and recently longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize - appeared in conversation with philosopher and memoirist Raimond Gaita. In this video of the event, they discuss the perennial questions - what are happiness and virtue? - that continue to scratch at the heart of human existence.