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Alone: Reflections on Solitary Living

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Donnish history teacher Alif is forever drawn to the past, but as a Muslim in Modi’s India, even he is finding it hard to ignore an increasingly intolerant present. When a Hindu student goads him about his faith on a school trip to a Mughal monument, Alif impulsively reaches out to twist the boy’s ear, setting in motion a calamitous sequence of events. With violence spreading across Delhi, Anjum Hasan deploys pathos and Urdu poetry – itself a product of India’s multifaith heritage – to illuminate his heartbreak. It’s a beautiful novel, timely and elegiac. Alone: Reflections on Solitary Living

In 1990, 27 percent of Americans surveyed reported having three or fewer close friends. By 2021, it was up to 49 percent. Between 2003 and 2020, the average amount of time spent socially engaged with friends (whatever their quantity or degree of closeness) fell by 20 hours per month; the decline was especially steep for people between ages 15 and 24. The surgeon general did not venture any predictions about how the aging of the population might influence such trends, or vice versa. But news from the frontier between robotics and gerontology suggests that help—of a sort—is on the way. Ich habe in der letzten Woche die zwei mir verfügbaren Daniel Schreiber Hörbücher regelrecht fieberhaft durchgehört. Von daher ist meine Meinung von diesem Buch auch stark von dem Vorgänger "Zuhause" geprägt - zu "Nüchtern" kann ich in diesem Kontext leider nichts sagen, da ich dies noch nicht gelesen habe. In this candid and moving essay, German writer Daniel Schreiber explores what it means to be alone in a society that idealizes romantic relationships. Schreiber shares his own fears and experiences as a long-term single gay man and links them to some of the world’s foremost writers and thinkers, such as Hannah Arendt, Annie Ernaux, Audre Lorde and Maggie Nelson. He also examines the role that friendships play in our lives and whether they can replace a need for romantic love.

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For his part, Schreiber accepts the hand of solitaire he’s been dealt (or tries to, since it sounds like more a process than a decision) and has built up a life around the routines of work, travel and long-standing friendships. Loneliness is not a bottomless pit his life has fallen into, though it’s still within his range of moods. For cost savings, you can change your plan at any time online in the “Settings & Account” section. If you’d like to retain your premium access and save 20%, you can opt to pay annually at the end of the trial. At no time have so many people lived alone, and never has it been more elementary to feel the brutality of loneliness brought about by a self-determined life. But can we ever be happy alone? And why, in a society of individualists, is living alone perceived as a shameful failure? I never made a conscious decision to live alone,” Schreiber says. Although he has had many partners, some of them long term, and even lived with two of them for a time, he is single at the time of writing, and can’t help but think that his state implies some kind of deficiency. Part of this he attributes to queer shame that he must have subconsciously internalized, and part to Pauline Boss’s concept of the “ambiguous loss” – missing what one has never had.

Daniel Schreiber trägt viele philosophische Betrachtungen zum Thema Freundschaft und zum Alleinsein zusammen, die definitiv zum Nachdenken anregen. Auch beschreibt er, mit welchen Methoden er gegen seine Einsamkeit ankämpft. Diese sind aber sicherlich nicht auf jeden Menschen übertragbar. Calling loneliness an epidemic now has more tangible connotations than it once might have. But as the German essayist and cultural critic Daniel Schreiber points out in his newly translated essay collection, Alone: Reflections on Solitary Living ( Reaktion Books), a sort of rolling moral panic over the implications of living alone has been underway for quite a while. In einem Podcast wurde das Buch empfohlen, weil es aufzeigen würde, dass man Freundschaften fälschlicherweise nicht so schätzt wie Liebesbeziehungen. Aber der Autor macht genau das. Er sagt, irgendwann seien alle Freundschaften nichts mehr wert, weil sich alle in ihren Partnerschaften und Kleinfamilien verlieren. But it’s not all centred on the pandemic. The very essence of Friendship is a key theme. Schreiber looks at how friendship has been portrayed throughout literature and philosophy. We hear from Nietzsche, Sappho, Jean-Paul Sartre and Arendt amongst others.


Also dieses Buch ging sowas von am Thema vorbei, das Buch verdient einen Rant/Aufregerpost. Vermeintlich soll dieses Buch Einsamkeit und alleine sein entstigmatisieren und normalisieren. Ich habe so viele positive Stimmen vorab gelesen, dass ich mir doch einiges erwartet habe. Stattdessen bekommen wir eine absolut selbstbeweihräuchernde Erzählung eines sehr privilegierten Menschen. The joy of friendship cannot be located in an ideal. It does not materialise when the only thing being met is our own need for other people's attention. It does not transpire when we project our feelings and our unresolved conflicts onto our friends, or simply believe that the reason we know them so well is because they are so much like ourselves. The lasting joy of friendship if a by-product of giving, of gifting our attention. It is an experience of dissolving our barriers and occurs only when we succeed in broadening our own horizons and escaping the prison of our own problems and fears that we are so often trapped in. It materialises when we recognise the person in front of us in all their otherness. When we open ourselves up to their emotional reality, to their alternative view of the world. It emerges when we are there for someone else. Daniel Schreiber’s book-length essay Alone is an inventory of this emotional state – in a radically personal style. (…) He skilfully interweaves personal observations with cultural-historical reflections and current findings from psychology, social research, queer studies and medical science – and he does this very effortlessly, in a way that only Anglo-American essayists, from Hannah Arendt to Rebecca Solnit, know how to.” Weiters führt der Autor aus, wie viele Probleme das Queersein mit sich bringt, was zwar an sich interessant ist, aber das hat eben in diesem Buch nichts verloren. Vor allem dann nicht, wenn das Conclusio dann obendrein auch noch ist, dass der Autor ohne Partnerschaft und Freunde dann doch wieder sehr einsam ist. Ja, you don't say.

He encourages his readers to ignore the discomfort and go there. "Loneliness has a big role in our lives, and there are certain things we can only learn when we are lonely." He believes getting ahead of that understanding, before we become waylaid by any of life's surprises, such as grief or becoming ill, is wise and helpful. I know, Ernaux’s masterpiece is not strictly a book about aloneness, but its rich and multi-faceted tapestry can teach us more about our solitary lives than most of the books I know. The Years is a meditation on the events of the French writer’s private life and the changing attitudes of the society during her lifetime. Uncompromisingly yet poetically, she chronicles how a society produces loneliness by excluding people because of their sex, gender identity or marriage status. It’s hard to overstate how brilliant this book is. I’m not able to do it justice. If you haven’t read it already, start now. Researchers are also working on a new metric, the Companion Robot Impact Scale, to quantify the benefits for seniors’ health and well-being. Whether CRIS will be used in-house or as a rating system for consumers is not clear. In any event, the most important number to keep in mind at this point is the 70percent of doctors surveyed who thought companion robots should be covered by insurance.Due out next month, this novel follows an unnamed girl who flees from a colonial settlement in 1600s Virginia to make her way through the forests and rivers of North America. Groff turns the ideological underpinnings of classic Robinsonades deftly on their head. During her fight for survival the girl comes to an understanding of the natural world and her life within it which is a rare testament to the spiritual upsides of loneliness that we can only experience when we are alone. It is so easy to succumb to the temptation to understand friends as part of and as an extension of oneself,” Schreiber writes, “to love them because of their supposed similarity to one’s own self. But the calculation of sameness and the narcissistic appropriation that it entails ultimately constitute a form of involuntary violence. You necessarily misjudge the other. You miss the chance to find out who this person you are close to really is.” But he notices that, amid the crisis, these friends instinctively prioritise their family “nesting” zones, leaving him feeling bereft. He begins to wonder: is a life like his sustainable, especially after a certain age? Has he been fooling himself? What does it really mean to live alone? Seeking perspectives on these questions, he roves from the TV series Friends to Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac, from Frieda Fromm-Reichmann’s pioneering 1959 psychological study Loneliness to Hannah Arendt’s philosophical thoughts on friendship.

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