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Despite 21st-century fears of an 'epidemic' of loneliness, its history has been sorely neglected. A Biography of Loneliness offers a radically new interpretation of loneliness as an emotional language and experience. Using letters and diaries, philosophical tracts, political discussions, and medical literature from the eighteenth century to the present, historian of the em Despite 21st-century fears of an 'epidemic' of loneliness, its history has been sorely neglected. A Biography of Loneliness offers a radically new interpretation of loneliness as an emotional language and experience. Using letters and diaries, philosophical tracts, political discussions, and medical literature from the eighteenth century to the present, historian of the emotions Fay Bound Alberti argues that loneliness is not an ahistorical, universal phenomenon. It is, in fact, a modern emotion: before 1800, its language did not exist. And where loneliness is identified, it is not always bad, but a complex emotional state that differs according to class, gender, ethnicity and experience. Looking at informative case studies such as Sylvia Plath, Queen Victoria, and Virginia Woolf, A Biography of Loneliness charts the emergence of loneliness as a modern and embodied emotional state.


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Despite 21st-century fears of an 'epidemic' of loneliness, its history has been sorely neglected. A Biography of Loneliness offers a radically new interpretation of loneliness as an emotional language and experience. Using letters and diaries, philosophical tracts, political discussions, and medical literature from the eighteenth century to the present, historian of the em Despite 21st-century fears of an 'epidemic' of loneliness, its history has been sorely neglected. A Biography of Loneliness offers a radically new interpretation of loneliness as an emotional language and experience. Using letters and diaries, philosophical tracts, political discussions, and medical literature from the eighteenth century to the present, historian of the emotions Fay Bound Alberti argues that loneliness is not an ahistorical, universal phenomenon. It is, in fact, a modern emotion: before 1800, its language did not exist. And where loneliness is identified, it is not always bad, but a complex emotional state that differs according to class, gender, ethnicity and experience. Looking at informative case studies such as Sylvia Plath, Queen Victoria, and Virginia Woolf, A Biography of Loneliness charts the emergence of loneliness as a modern and embodied emotional state.

30 review for A Biography of Loneliness: The History of an Emotion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sara Dahabović

    The epidemic of loneliness Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles is a song in the 60 about a town full of lonely people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuS5N... "Ah, look at all the lonely people Ah, look at all the lonely people Eleanor Rigby Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been Lives in a dream Waits at the window Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door Who is it for? All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong? Father McKenzie Wri The epidemic of loneliness Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles is a song in the 60 about a town full of lonely people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuS5N... "Ah, look at all the lonely people Ah, look at all the lonely people Eleanor Rigby Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been Lives in a dream Waits at the window Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door Who is it for? All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong? Father McKenzie Writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear No one comes near Look at him working Darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there What does he care? All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong? Ah, look at all the lonely people Ah, look at all the lonely people Eleanor Rigby Died in the church and was buried along with her name Nobody came Father McKenzie Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave No one was saved All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people) Where do they all come from? All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people) Where do they all belong?" This song was popular in the 60s and according to this book that's when loneliness became a common phenomenon, or at least common in the elderly. Likewise, the book mentioned that in the 19-century loneliness became an epidemic, yes an epidemic because it has extreme risks on the health. But how did this"epidemic" become a thing? It occurred because of the change in the society, we think of loneliness in a negative way now, but in earlier times (before 19th century) "Oneliness" was widely understood and accepted, and generally, it was thought that solitude is actually a positive religious experience of being with God, and that you simply cannot be alone because God is always with you! Another argument is that we as a society pursue our own goals as individuals and we seek and emphasize on the importance of individuality. Another aspect of loneliness is not being able to find your "soulmate" even when you have a lot of friends and family members in your life, which is something that was evident in Sylvia Plath's diaries, as she suffered from loneliness even though she was always surrounded by friends and family (I have to add that she was clinically depressed) but this was still a common theme in books of that time. Is social media the reason for loneliness especially in millennials? Young adults have reported feeling lonely after checking the "glamorous" posts of their friends online, which indeed can have a profound effect on human emotions. However, it has been shown that social media can cause loneliness only if the person using it shut their life "off social media", actually using social media in the right way can help you connect with people and meet with them. Finally, I really liked this part mentioned in the book about the importance of solitude; in Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, he discusses how important it is to embrace solitude, so that one may experience life more fully and without distractions. He says that our aloneness is an important part of our identity, and we cannot escape it. Feb, 11, 2020.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vartika

    All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong? The Beatles song 'Eleanor Rigby' was perhaps one of the first time popular culture in Britain drew attention to the rising loneliness as a modern affliction. More recently, Olivia Laing addressed the issue in her 2016 book, The Lonely City. As yet another British exploration of this theme, A Biography of Loneliness: The History of an Emotion is a markedly different book even as it draws on th All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong? The Beatles song 'Eleanor Rigby' was perhaps one of the first time popular culture in Britain drew attention to the rising loneliness as a modern affliction. More recently, Olivia Laing addressed the issue in her 2016 book, The Lonely City. As yet another British exploration of this theme, A Biography of Loneliness: The History of an Emotion is a markedly different book even as it draws on the ideas articulated in both of the aforementioned predecessors. Published following the UK's appointment of a 'Minister of Loneliness' in 2018, Fay Bound Alberti's book is a response to the idea of loneliness as an 'epidemic' and is therefore more of a socio-historical study of loneliness as a condition rather than an exploration of its emotional or lived experience. With some brief segues into the emotional standing and understanding of loneliness in the western world, A Biography of Loneliness focuses on loneliness as a historical development in the longue durée and its affects on our notions and treatment of the elderly, of romantic love, of home, of materiality and of social media. The arguments regarding cause and effect are mostly meritorious — loneliness is approached as a cluster of emotions, a state affecting both mind and body, a product of vulnerabilities of gender, class and culture that are resultant of capitalist modernity and more recently, of neoliberalism. However, when it comes to looking at loneliness through a cultural and experiential lens, this book is less than illuminating with its seemingly half-hearted forays into the lives of Sylvia Plath and Queen Victoria, and into select literature and poetry. More importantly, while Bound Alberti rightly highlights the paradoxical state of isolation that social media creates and feeds, her argument is limited mostly to Facebook and ends on a reductive and ambivalent note of positivity, stating that there are more studies that show its benefits rather than its disadvantages. Of course there are — if social media can influence major elections around the world, it stands that they can fund a lot of positive studies. The issue with this argument is that while it acknowledges the existence of a problem and articulates the vague shape of it, it fails to fully convey what the problem is (something achieved to a considerable extent elsewhere in the book), which is not the way or the amount in which social media is used, but the way it is designed to create distinct worlds instead of reflecting the real one. Overall, A Biography of Loneliness does well as a survey of loneliness towards socio-political end by bringing up grounds for policy change, and it's worth a read for that much alone. But in terms of the writing style (dry with occassional showers) and emotive understanding, this history of an emotion is somewhat underwhelming(ly academic).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rehmat

    A Biography of Loneliness looks at how loneliness can affect a broad range of people in society, but one demographic is perhaps affected most of all: old people. Fay Bound Alberti suggests that there are deep-set problems in society that conspire to make life difficult for people as the enter old age. The author is of the opinion that loneliness isn’t the universal concept that people tend to imagine. It’s actually a product of our modern age, and a multifaceted one at that. A far cry from the “o A Biography of Loneliness looks at how loneliness can affect a broad range of people in society, but one demographic is perhaps affected most of all: old people. Fay Bound Alberti suggests that there are deep-set problems in society that conspire to make life difficult for people as the enter old age. The author is of the opinion that loneliness isn’t the universal concept that people tend to imagine. It’s actually a product of our modern age, and a multifaceted one at that. A far cry from the “oneliness” experienced before the 19th century, loneliness involves a profound sense of lack, and affects experiences from widowhood or widowerhood to social media use. Social media really the cause of millennial loneliness. The author quotes a research based on survey that FOMO – fear of missing out – makes clear. In a 2012 survey, almost three in four young adults reported feeling FOMO, which is frequently a result of seeing other people’s social media posts depicting glamorous lifestyles. Studies suggest that social media use can indeed heighten feelings of loneliness – but only when this use is not supplemented by offline activities. If there’s still a bridge between social media and “real life,” it’s not harmful at all. The problem is only when online activity replaces offline activity. It’s additionally important to remember that loneliness isn’t experienced purely by the mind: it’s also a physical experience. Quoting Neuroscientists John Cacioppo and Patrick William make an evocative analogy: they liken loneliness to hunger. Not just because we can feel it physically, like pain or a feeling of coldness, but also because that physical sensation is a signal that our bodies send us, informing us that something is lacking. Rather than being treated like something that comes inevitably with old age, or something to be blamed on new technology, we need to understand loneliness better in its historical context. Given this backdrop, this book helps to understand loneliness in the context.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fern Adams

    I was keen to read this following hearing it being discussed on Thinking Allowed with Laurie Taylor. The book looks at the concept of loneliness through a mixture of sociological, historical and anthropological lenses. It was a very interesting read and does make you question what emotions and feelings are a result of and how much culture and society influences how we feel and express ourselves. Worth reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    محمود أغيورلي

    هل لديك فضول لكي تعرف من أول من ذكر الوحدة في الأعمال الادبية ؟ هل يهمك ان تتطلع على تاريخ الوحدة في المطبوعات و الابحاث ؟ هل يهمك ان تدرك التوابع الجسدية والبدنية والنفسية للوحدة وما يترتب على علاجها , حسنا كتاب سيرة الشعور بالوحدة للكاتبة فاي ألبرتي هو الكتاب الملائم لكل ذلك , فهذا الكتاب يحاول ان يقدم مفهوم جديد للوحدة يختلف عن المفهوم العالمي الذي يتوقع الجميع للوحدة , ويحاول بصورة ما ان يلقي اللوم على العصر الحديث في معظم صفحاته , وكانت هذه الملامة تناقض بعض الصفحات التي عادت بالقراءة إلى ا هل لديك فضول لكي تعرف من أول من ذكر الوحدة في الأعمال الادبية ؟ هل يهمك ان تتطلع على تاريخ الوحدة في المطبوعات و الابحاث ؟ هل يهمك ان تدرك التوابع الجسدية والبدنية والنفسية للوحدة وما يترتب على علاجها , حسنا كتاب سيرة الشعور بالوحدة للكاتبة فاي ألبرتي هو الكتاب الملائم لكل ذلك , فهذا الكتاب يحاول ان يقدم مفهوم جديد للوحدة يختلف عن المفهوم العالمي الذي يتوقع الجميع للوحدة , ويحاول بصورة ما ان يلقي اللوم على العصر الحديث في معظم صفحاته , وكانت هذه الملامة تناقض بعض الصفحات التي عادت بالقراءة إلى الوحدة في القرن الثامن والتاسع عشر , ولكن وبصورة عامة الافكار التي ذكرت حول نتاج العصر الحديث و تأثيره على الفرد و شعوره بالوحدة كانت مقنعة إلى حد ما وخاصة عندما تحدث الكتاب عن الخوف من الضياع و الخوف من ضياع الفرص بسبب الغرق بين مئات منشورات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لأشخاص آخرين في اغلب الاحيان لا يعنوا أي شيء للقارىء , والكتاب ايضاً قدم بعض لا بأس منه من الابحاث الطبية والعصبية , و خاصة عندما حاول أن يسهب في الاثار البدنية للوحدة و مخاطرها الحقيقية , بصورة عامة كان هذا الكتاب أضعف الكتب الاربعة التي قرأت عن الوحدة و تقيمي له 2/5 .

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chinar Mehta

    Quite an academic inquiry into the history of "loneliness", as a term all through to a medical condition. While I wouldn't say that this book is one of the more interesting academic works I have read, it definitely does its job well. Alberti uses a variety of different sources to look at the idea of loneliness - literary works, journals, medical texts, music, film and much more. All of these give shape to her explanation of loneliness as an emotion that is difficult to understand or describe, th Quite an academic inquiry into the history of "loneliness", as a term all through to a medical condition. While I wouldn't say that this book is one of the more interesting academic works I have read, it definitely does its job well. Alberti uses a variety of different sources to look at the idea of loneliness - literary works, journals, medical texts, music, film and much more. All of these give shape to her explanation of loneliness as an emotion that is difficult to understand or describe, that has become a pillar of life experience in the modern world but still remains an enigma in many domains like elderly care, emigration, and homelessness. Life conditions and privilege, of course, play a significant role in how loneliness is ignored or made less important in discussions particularly related to public health, but Alberti urges that it is an important aspect of civic health and states should be more focussed on it. I started reading the book because of the situation that I find myself in - where I am surrounded by immediate family, but a change in pace and routine led to me feeling lonely. I am too used to attempting to 'academicise' everything about my life, so I did not want to leave this out. Alberti cites Olivia Liang a lot in the book, and since I have also been reading that side by side, I would recommend you to do the same. Both books go well together since Liang is more poetic, but Alberti is more accurate.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    A good 2020 read. Alberti proposes two main arguments: first, that "loneliness" as a concept of the negative emotional experiences of being alone (verses "oneliness", an emotionally neutral term to describe being alone) is a relatively recent historical development, one that began to appear at the end of the 18th century and resulted from a "distinct set of social, political, medical, philosophical, and economic changes." Second, that "loneliness," so often framed as a mental problem, is better A good 2020 read. Alberti proposes two main arguments: first, that "loneliness" as a concept of the negative emotional experiences of being alone (verses "oneliness", an emotionally neutral term to describe being alone) is a relatively recent historical development, one that began to appear at the end of the 18th century and resulted from a "distinct set of social, political, medical, philosophical, and economic changes." Second, that "loneliness," so often framed as a mental problem, is better understood as embodied experience and addressed holistically. These two arguments together lead to the conclusion that pathologizing loneliness and turning to bio-medicine for a "cure" are both flawed responses to the "epidemic" of loneliness in the western world. Within the discussion, Alberti draws equally from art and sociology, opening with a fine analysis of Sylvia Plath through the lens of loneliness, and discussing many of the figures you might expect a book on loneliness to cover – Virginia Woolf, the Romantic poets, Wuthering Heights, and Edward Hopper, among others. Some of the chapters are stronger than others (and the chapter on public policy in the UK was less relevant for this American reader), and several chapters are so different in focus from the one proceeding that the throughline of the argument was hard to track. These are flaws, but don't lessen the value of the book's analysis in my eyes. Henrietta Meire does an admirable job as the reader for the Tantor Media audiobook.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Wiersma

    Poignant and instructive. Read it for work but value it for life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marks54

    I liked this book although I am not sure why. This is a work of cultural history that traces the history of an emotion, This emerging genre has escaped me until now and I am not sure I am on board. There is something intriguing about a book like this, which takes an idea that seems familiar to everyone and shows how it is not that familiar at all. Indeed, one of the key takeaways from the book is that “loneliness” did not really have much standing as an emotion, construct, or whatever prior to t I liked this book although I am not sure why. This is a work of cultural history that traces the history of an emotion, This emerging genre has escaped me until now and I am not sure I am on board. There is something intriguing about a book like this, which takes an idea that seems familiar to everyone and shows how it is not that familiar at all. Indeed, one of the key takeaways from the book is that “loneliness” did not really have much standing as an emotion, construct, or whatever prior to the end of the 18th century. Prior to that, when it was used it referred to the state of being alone - or “oneliness” and did not have the universal negative meanings associated with it that it has today. Indeed there were even potential benefits to being alone, in that there was value to introspection and creativity that came from it. So what is loneliness? Well ... it can mean different things to different people. What it means depends upon gender and social class and even wealth. It involves an isolation from society and a sadness along with anger and depression that comes from a lack of needed relationships. This is a problem for children, for women stuck at home, for old people, for the sick and disabled - there are lots of ways to be lonely. It can even be fostered by social media! A major argument in the book is that loneliness is if anything increasing in the 21st century and reaching epidemic proportions. Recall, that this is not quite a disease or even a conventional emotion, but more a complex of emotions and feelings that is socially constructed. Why the timing of this? Why did it become important after 1800 and pick up steam through the late 20th century and into the 21st century? The causes appear to be modernity, capitalism, and more recently neoliberalism, which destroyed the prior social and community bases of life and launched everyone into the radical alienated individualism that fueled Marx and others up to the present - or at least with Thatcher and Reagan. There are many options available to address the onrush of loneliness and Professor Alberti does a good job at presenting some choices about what to do. Get the idea? It is an intriguing deconstruction and makes a certain amount of sense. The syllable count is high, however, and there is a convenient fluidity to the argument that is a bit frustrating. For example, what is the relationship between loneliness and solitude? That is ok, it is worth reading, even if there is a bit of sand in the mix. There is one gap I wanted to mention. Professor Alberti rightly mentions “Eleanor Rigby” as a critical anthem of loneliness but she could go much further. Indeed, without the idea of loneliness, Rock music would have faced huge problems in its early development, from Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and many others. Overall, it was a good read and a nice break from plague books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charon L

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “寂寞可能很難定義。它沒有相反詞;它是完全主觀的,會隨著不同時空、不同人,甚至同一個人的不同生命階段而產生不同感知。” 寂寞是21世紀才悄悄出現的大規模”流行病”,獨身者、寂寞老人、心理疾病患者,帶給醫療與社會不少的負擔。在21世紀以前,「寂寞」被定義為「獨處」,並無像現代,寂寞這個詞本身帶有負面情緒意義。 想知道這個現代流行病是如何蔓延全世界,需根據它的歷史意義來充分理解。 提出幾個作者探討的重點💡 📌「單獨」變成寂寞 在18世紀末以前,公開的文本很少提及「寂寞」,當時寂寞的意思只是「單獨」(oneliness),而非心理或是情緒上的感受。單獨也常被脈絡化為一種宗教上的經驗,在這種狀態下,人能與永恆的上帝交流。 在理性思維當道之後,科技所帶來的革命,接著是一連串的大規模工業化,當個人取代了社會,大眾不再以靈魂解釋萬事萬物後,導致愈加世俗及個人化,「寂寞」做為一連串情緒的總和,是人口變化與都市化的產物。 📌做為浪漫主義理想-「靈魂伴侶」 這章節很有趣,作者舉了兩本小說,分別是19世紀的《咆哮山莊》及現代的《暮光之城》,由這兩本小說探究「靈魂伴侶」這個概念,來解釋現代人對戀情的追求及在情感上的影響。 相信 “寂寞可能很難定義。它沒有相反詞;它是完全主觀的,會隨著不同時空、不同人,甚至同一個人的不同生命階段而產生不同感知。” 寂寞是21世紀才悄悄出現的大規模”流行病”,獨身者、寂寞老人、心理疾病患者,帶給醫療與社會不少的負擔。在21世紀以前,「寂寞」被定義為「獨處」,並無像現代,寂寞這個詞本身帶有負面情緒意義。 想知道這個現代流行病是如何蔓延全世界,需根據它的歷史意義來充分理解。 提出幾個作者探討的重點💡 📌「單獨」變成寂寞 在18世紀末以前,公開的文本很少提及「寂寞」,當時寂寞的意思只是「單獨」(oneliness),而非心理或是情緒上的感受。單獨也常被脈絡化為一種宗教上的經驗,在這種狀態下,人能與永恆的上帝交流。 在理性思維當道之後,科技所帶來的革命,接著是一連串的大規模工業化,當個人取代了社會,大眾不再以靈魂解釋萬事萬物後,導致愈加世俗及個人化,「寂寞」做為一連串情緒的總和,是人口變化與都市化的產物。 📌做為浪漫主義理想-「靈魂伴侶」 這章節很有趣,作者舉了兩本小說,分別是19世紀的《咆哮山莊》及現代的《暮光之城》,由這兩本小說探究「靈魂伴侶」這個概念,來解釋現代人對戀情的追求及在情感上的影響。 相信大家都看過暮光之城,沒看過小說應該也看過的電影😄 講述平凡人類少女愛上吸血鬼、又著迷於狼人的淒美三角愛情故事。 但這本小說很有問題,它為不健康的戀愛關係賦予價值,危險的關係卻又令少女神魂顛倒。這段關係不可避免、依然值得追尋,儘管它會帶來痛苦。 這兩本小說都在描述一名女子努力追尋靈魂伴侶,如果沒有這個人,她就會感到寂寞難耐,但是與這人在一起,她卻無法融入正常社交。 這種浪漫之愛被高度理想化且不切實際,並會威脅到自我的穩定,不過抹除自我並成為另外一人,正是陷入熱戀的人所渴望的。 由這種概念引出了,作為「另一半」的理想,只要缺了另一半必定無法完整,產生了一種因為匱乏而出現的寂寞感。 這一生只要缺少那個”重要他人”,我們就永遠只是”半個人”。 📌老年人的寂寞 本章節在探討老人的寂寞。 人到晚年的時候,也許已經歷喪偶、親朋好友的離去、子女搬離家,因缺乏面對面的社交而感到寂寞。 害怕社交死亡、害怕不再以有意義的方式與他人共存,這正是老年人寂寞的核心。 然而寂寞老年人也被視作是一種經濟上的負擔。 世上對衰老的軀體表達出各種嘲諷的態度,從中年婦女裝嫩的現象就能看出這樣的文化。但其實說難聽點,老殘窮才會是政府關注的對象,當你很富有,這也意味著你所經歷的老化情況與窮人並不相同。 導致老年人產生寂寞感的因素在於老化發生時的背景脈絡,意即你能擁有的選擇逐漸消失,不過老化本身並不會造成寂寞感,這反而能成為一種反思與成長的契機。 📌寂寞與物質世界 這章節指出,獨處的物質文化很容易被發覺,桌上有一雙筷子、門口擺放了一雙鞋子⋯但單人的用品並不等於寂寞的物品,這裡提出了”單獨一人”跟”感到孤單”的差異。 人們渴望跟取得的消費品越多,他們與社會連結的明顯需求就越少,反之亦然。 這裡還提到購物療法,它已被視為21世紀寂寞感有關的行為,但購物並不會減少寂寞感,反而會使之增加。 可以將寂寞視為一種內在的”飢渴”😂 當你飢餓時,就是身體用來提醒你需要食物,而寂寞就是身體用來告訴你,你需要更多的社交、與人接觸。 我們一直以來缺乏表達寂寞的姿勢或準則。有誰知道寂寞時臉上會擺出什麼表情? 表達寂寞的時候人們並不會像表現憤怒、害羞有著一致的表情,因為寂寞的人不總是悲傷、有時他們會憤怒、憎恨或是感到平靜。 學習如何解讀他人身上的寂寞,這件事有助於讓我們理解自主選擇獨處及不得已寂寞間的差異,以便察覺人們何時需要他人的介入(幫助)。 📌當寂寞成為禮物 我們往往對寂寞、孤單這類詞彙有著負面的聯想,但寂寞與獨處卻是可以讓人產生創造力的。 在前面的章節有提到:寂寞在宗教經驗上能夠使人親近上帝並與大自然交融。 寂寞帶有既正面又負面的經驗在,有時藝術家為「追求創造力」,會選擇將自己獨自一人關在房間裡,享受寂寞所帶來的痛苦和樂趣。 19世紀的女性作家-吳爾芙提到的「真正現實」,是非常短暫的。「只有在獨自一人、孤立於他人之外,令人分心的事物減少時,才有可能抓住那種現實。」 寧靜與獨處是有其價值的,但這種價值是很”主觀”的。寂寞可以同時兼具恢復與毀滅,只有在它是”人為”選擇的時候才會如此。 所以說,我們不可能跟一個貧困又孤單的青年or老年人說,寂寞能多提供你自省及自我察覺的最佳空間,他只會當你在唬爛、何不食肉糜😄 🤔人為選擇的寂寞(獨處)跟被迫孤立相同嗎? 作者在本書中不斷提及,寂寞是一種個人與社會的情緒群集,它涵蓋了各種各樣的反應。 而寂寞並不總是有害,它不僅僅是有益的、也能提供創造性。 寂寞也能是一種資產,帶給我們精神上的片刻反思,讓我們更加理解自我以及他人。 但當人們不再渴望單獨的狀態時,這時寂寞就成了負面的情緒。 我們需要辨別寂寞正面及負面狀態下的差異,這有助於我們明白對方的需求,當我們對寂寞的瞭解更加深刻,我們就越能面對身處在其中的自己或是他人。

  11. 5 out of 5

    Henry

    - "Loneliness" was actually a relative new thing from 1800s - Transitioning into nuclear families in the 60s was significant in increasing loneliness, especially for the elderly. Wheres historically big family was the norm - Loneliness was not seen as a negative term during the 1800s. In fact, it was positive since people were rarely alone back then: solitude was important to have holy communion - Today with individualism and secularism, loneliness became prevalent - Romanticism is a rather new conc - "Loneliness" was actually a relative new thing from 1800s - Transitioning into nuclear families in the 60s was significant in increasing loneliness, especially for the elderly. Wheres historically big family was the norm - Loneliness was not seen as a negative term during the 1800s. In fact, it was positive since people were rarely alone back then: solitude was important to have holy communion - Today with individualism and secularism, loneliness became prevalent - Romanticism is a rather new concept dating in 1800s and isn't well developed and time tested - Comes with romanticism also comes with the idea of "soulmate". The idea that we have to find such person or else we'll be forever lonely - Also due to the belief of "soulmate", one would feel grief for the rest of the life given how empty one feels afterwards. In the past, one is never "alone" because on always has the presence of God - We once feared telephone would make people lazy and avoid having social interactions altogether - In a society where value of a person is based on his/her productivity, elders are seen more like a burden, which wasn't an issue prior to the prominence of nuclear families - People switch to buying things during loneliness - but it simply doesn't help loneliness

  12. 4 out of 5

    Synthia Salomon

    Here’s a book worth sitting with. “Loneliness isn’t the universal concept that people tend to imagine. It’s actually a product of our modern age, and a multifaceted one at that. A far cry from the “oneliness” experienced before the 19th century, loneliness involves a profound sense of lack, and affects experiences from widowhood or widowerhood to social media use. Rather than being treated like something that comes inevitably with old age, or something to be blamed on new technology, we need to Here’s a book worth sitting with. “Loneliness isn’t the universal concept that people tend to imagine. It’s actually a product of our modern age, and a multifaceted one at that. A far cry from the “oneliness” experienced before the 19th century, loneliness involves a profound sense of lack, and affects experiences from widowhood or widowerhood to social media use. Rather than being treated like something that comes inevitably with old age, or something to be blamed on new technology, we need to understand loneliness better in its historical context.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ruhi

    I think its lot in one's mind as one can feel lonely even in room full of people or look at it as "getting to enjoy the soltitude", as i, personally love to spend my own time with books , shows, my pet, plants and with family when we all have time together, given the nature of life today. I think its lot in one's mind as one can feel lonely even in room full of people or look at it as "getting to enjoy the soltitude", as i, personally love to spend my own time with books , shows, my pet, plants and with family when we all have time together, given the nature of life today.

  14. 4 out of 5

    anklecemetery

    Interesting if a little academic in scope -- discusses the concept of loneliness in culture and society, positing that it's a relatively modern concept. 2.5 stars. Interesting if a little academic in scope -- discusses the concept of loneliness in culture and society, positing that it's a relatively modern concept. 2.5 stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Moreno

    Each chapter would be a great topic to explore in a full length book. The scope and ambition of this book really hinders its impact since it's trying to cover so much in only 200 or so pages. Each chapter would be a great topic to explore in a full length book. The scope and ambition of this book really hinders its impact since it's trying to cover so much in only 200 or so pages.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Kerslake

    I heard Fay interviewed by Laurie Taylor on Thinking Allowed and decided to read her book. I'm glad I did. Just so interesting. What did I learn? Well, firstly that there's many different kinds of loneliness. One chapter, for example, explores Queen Victoria's loneliness after the death of her beloved Albert. As Queen she was surrounded all the time by people but that one singular absence made her feel terribly lonely. Secondly, loneliness can be a positive thing, particularly as a spur to the cre I heard Fay interviewed by Laurie Taylor on Thinking Allowed and decided to read her book. I'm glad I did. Just so interesting. What did I learn? Well, firstly that there's many different kinds of loneliness. One chapter, for example, explores Queen Victoria's loneliness after the death of her beloved Albert. As Queen she was surrounded all the time by people but that one singular absence made her feel terribly lonely. Secondly, loneliness can be a positive thing, particularly as a spur to the creativity of the writer or artist. Come on. Don't tell me you've never wandered lonely as a cloud! Finally Fay points out the link between capitalism, particularly the neoliberal version of the last thirty years and loneliness.As a good lefty, of course, I agree. So much more I could say but this ought to be enough to get you to read it. What are you waiting for?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Richard West

  18. 4 out of 5

    Valia

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie Hostrup

  20. 5 out of 5

    Delaney Love

  21. 5 out of 5

    Omar Delawar

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mie Nielsen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashwathi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Thomas

  27. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mardy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Tenev

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bram Kroezen

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