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Solitude in Context – Part III: Quotations and Themes

This third part of Solitude in Context features a selection of quotations – from various authors and famous figures of the past and present – that indicate many aspects of solitude and collectively highlight its value.

As a natural, personal, and essential mode of being, solitude has been described and appreciated in many ways throughout history. To complement the analyses of Part I and Part II, here is presented quotations by authors and public figures that collectively highlight the essence and value of solitude. Selected from a few different listings, these quotes on solitude are organized into themes and feature an emboldened phrase in each to indicate what I consider to be the central point of interest.

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Solitude in Context – Part II: Language and Ideology

The second part of Solitude in Context examines the ways in which solitude, solitary activity, and meditative thought are devalued and stigmatized through linguistics, thereby discouraging these practices.

—The Slogans of Newspeak (New Millennium Edition)

In establishing a basis for understanding solitude, Part I considered it as a personal mode of being distinct from, but complementary to, interpersonal and social modes of being. The article then outlined the historical decline of personal being including the practice of solitude, citing the introvert/extrovert dichotomy and, more crucially, the polarized disparity between these two concepts in both professional and cultural contexts. Finally, linguistics was identified as the primary means of this conceptual polarization, illustrated by a comparison between the synonyms assigned to ‘introverted’ and ‘extroverted’. Part II continues this theme by examining the linguistic associations of words in the representation of concepts directly related to solitude and solitary practices.

Continue reading “Solitude in Context – Part II: Language and Ideology”