Some prisons are made of physical constraints: walls, iron bars, and barbed fences. The prisoner sees and imagines the lights and shadows beyond, but cannot move the physical body past the barrier. Other prisons are made of social constraints: dictates by others about what one must or must not do. The socially constrained person is obliged to be not just...
Every wife is more than a wife; every mother is more than a mother. But who is the main character of Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment? She no longer knows. She has been abandoned in more than one sense: by a man and, she comes to realize, by herself. It’s a strange experience to realize that the novel you’ve...
Why is the hardest endeavor, sometimes, to listen to and obey yourself? The voices and needs and influences of the world like to clamor and encroach and invade. If you let them, they will subsume you; they will try to destroy you. If you let them in too close, for too long, you will stop being able to hear yourself....
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