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He taught at Yale University from to Available online at http: The essay is reprinted here with kind permission of the author. What does the contemporary self want? The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity.
As the two technologies converge -- broadband tipping the Web from text to image, social-networking sites spreading the mesh of interconnection ever wider -- the two cultures betray a common impulse. Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants.
It wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible.
If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. This is the quality that validates us, this is how we become real to ourselves -- by being seen by others. The great contemporary terror is anonymity.
If Lionel Trilling was right, if the property that grounded the self, in Romanticism, was sincerity, and in modernism it was authenticity, then in postmodernism it is visibility. So we live exclusively in relation to others, and what disappears from our lives is solitude.
Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone.
We are doing this to ourselves; we are discarding these riches as fast as we can. I was told by one of her older relatives that a teenager I know had sent 3, text messages one recent month. I once asked my students about the place that solitude has in their lives.
Another said, why would anyone want to be alone? To that remarkable question, history offers a number of answers.
Man may be a social animal, but solitude has traditionally been a societal value. In particular, the act of being alone has been understood as an essential dimension of religious experience, albeit one restricted to a self-selected few. Through the solitude of rare spirits, the collective renews its relationship with divinity.
The prophet and the hermit, the sadhu and the yogi, pursue their vision quests, invite their trances, in desert or forest or cave. For the still, small voice speaks only in silence. Social life is a bustle of petty concerns, a jostle of quotidian interests, and religious institutions are no exception.
You cannot hear God when people are chattering at you, and the divine word, their pretensions notwithstanding, demurs at descending on the monarch and the priest.
Communal experience is the human norm, but the solitary encounter with God is the egregious act that refreshes that norm.
Egregious, for no man is a prophet in his own land. Tiresias was reviled before he was vindicated, Teresa interrogated before she was canonized.
Religious solitude is a kind of self-correcting social mechanism, a way of burning out the underbrush of moral habit and spiritual custom.
The seer returns with new tablets or new dances, his face bright with the old truth. Like other religious values, solitude was democratized by the Reformation and secularized by Romanticism.
Reading, as Robinson puts it, "is an act of great inwardness and subjectivity. But it is with Romanticism that solitude achieved its greatest cultural salience, becoming both literal and literary.
Protestant solitude is still only figurative.In William Deresiewicz's essay, "The End of Solitude" he describes how today's technology has made it so that people are unable to be truly alone. Summary of the End of Solitude.
Essay Words | 3 Pages. SUMMARY Christopher Villegas Fohrweisser ID number: Source: William Deresiewicz, “The end of solitude”, The Chronical, January 30, , pg. 1 to 4. Good essay or bad essay conclusion thanatopsis essays elgin marbles debate essay subjects article 2 echr essay help essay about climate change for students daln literacy narrative essay hugh gallagher college essay nyu stern charles dickens museum review essay waltraud wende dissertation abstract essay on national education policy nba meditations on first philosophy essay prize essay on.
Open Document. Below is an essay on "The End of Solitude" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples. The end of solitude Introduction Deresiewicz requested a number of his youthful pupils who confessed that they were scared of loneliness.
More than a few of the students may possibly not comprehend why anyone would desire loneliness.
(The end of solitude, pg. 1) • The great age of boredom, I believe, came in with television, precisely because television was designed to palliate that feeling.
Boredom is not a necessary consequence of having nothing to do, it is only the negative experience of that state.