"driven by ennui, you could say - to go and experience being bored"

‘Ennui’ is the French word for boredom. However, it had a special significance to a school of French writers such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, known as the Existentialists, and was the particular defining characteristic of their heroes, epitomised by Meursault of The Outsider. ‘Ennui’ is an emotional state carrying both an angst and a rebellious desire to understand the protagonist’s place in an increasingly absurd world. The state also renders the subject prone to irrational action – like suddenly deciding to cross Antarctica.