For good reading today check out Joshua Rothman’s reflection on Virginia Woolf and privacy at the New Yorker. The opening:

These days, when we use the word “privacy,” it usually has a political meaning. We’re concerned with other people and how they might affect us. We think about how they could use information about us for their own ends, or interfere with decisions that are rightfully ours. We’re mindful of the lines that divide public life from private life. We have what you might call a citizen’s sense of privacy.

The rest details, eloquently with beautiful intersperses of Mrs. Dalloway quotes/analysis, that deep part of us we may or may not be able to share and make others understand. Is this a conscious decision/failed intimacy/unrequited romance? Or is it part of what it is to be a human being? What is privacy? Is it innate or established (if not by us then the culture, social atmosphere, events around us)? Read it!

For more on being alone, browse these Jonathan Franzen essays or watch Louis C.K. on Conan. Also, examine this amazing recent study of how much people hate being alone.


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