The irony of the situation today is that people read newspapers, watch television and read books at home, and they go to museums to be alone. Their public thinking is done in private and their private thinking is done in public. (Robert Storr)
The celebrated recluse Henry Thoreau’s writings on solitude almost sound ironic when compared to the “chattering classes” in this day and age. In Walden, his most influential book, he wrote about the cycle of his life at Walden Pond, a lake about two miles from the centre of Concord where he lived from 1845 until 1847. Describing the solitude of living alone in the woods, he asks, “What sort of space is that which separates a man from his fellows and makes him solitary? I have found that no exertion of legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another”.