Thomas L. Dumm Quotes.
I look back on some of my early reviews of others, and realize to my chagrin that I’ve been as guilty as anybody else on that front.
We can never leave loneliness behind completely – it is part of what forms us.
In one of my favorite anecdotes about Foucault, someone asks him why he writes books. He responds by saying something like “When I begin to write a book, I do not know how it will come out, what it will say in the end. If I already did, I wouldn’t need to write it.”
Worldwide, the twentieth century has seen the rise of extraordinary concentrations of economic and political power – evoking the people as the source of power while simultaneously privatizing its most meaningful exercise. Democracy always seems to be at least slightly elusive under such conditions.
I worry that we don’t currently have a democracy in the United States. Instead we have what [political philosopher] Sheldon Wolin has recently labeled a sort of inverted totalitarianism.
As lovers of truth, we want to be close to it. Sometimes – evil thought, evil temptation – we want to be close to it by misleading others about its presence.
I’m pretty sure my dog, Pip, gets lonely when there is no one to be with him. But we humans can end up with a gnawing worry about that separation possibly becoming a permanent condition.
It is an admonition to myself when I am reading other people’s books. Writing a book is very difficult to do, even a bad one. I try to remember that when reading someone else’s work.
None of us is perfect, but the point of our writing is to try to become better, to learn something that we may not have already realized, about ourselves, about the world we inhabit.
Of course, each of us has to write our own book, live our own life.
At some point just about all of us experience loneliness. In a sense, it is what it means to be a sentient animal, to have an experience of separation from others.
Usually, we think that “good” loneliness is what we call “solitude,” the choice of some alone-time. But I want to press on with the negative dimension, to look at ways in which a fundamental sense of being separated from others shapes who we are and why.