One is alone with oneself. Together with others, most are alone even without themselves. One has to get out of both.
Ernst Bloch, Traces, 1
The neighbor said, “But seriously, who is it you’re writing these for? Surely you have an audience in mind.” I thought about it carefully, I did, but ended up repeating almost word for word what I had already said, which was that the poems were written for me, or for readers who were exactly the same person as I was. I said I couldn’t imagine any other person. I said I could see how that probably sounded disingenuous, or solipsistic, or both. And just then a small dinner roll fell from the table, rolled across the living room steadily, not slowing at all, or wobbling. It rolled across the room and passed through the doorway into the bedroom and the door slammed shut behind it.
Michael Earl Craig, Thin Kimono
Only will I establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, above every keel little or large that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Our desire to desire like others, to be and to have like others, the strength, almost instinctive, to appropriate and exploit another person, his desires or her goods, the enormous need to imitate, to engage unceasingly in pantomimes – all these old mechanisms are just so many secular, archaic barriers to accepting what appears as monstrosity. The defect, somatic and mental, distances us too much from our reactions of conformity, from our love of the same. Is there a remedy for this?
Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability, pp. 9-10