Rediscovering the Hidden Life

Notes from the Grid: Rediscovering the Hidden Life Human Voices Wake Us

An episode from 4/26/22: Tonight, I begin a five-part series called Notes from the Grid. (A print version of NFTG has since been published.) In this first part, figures as various as Kurt Cobain, Michelangelo, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Albert Einstein are called on to ask: why do so few of us find meaning in private experiences, private thoughts? What does fame do to the people and ideas and events we love and want to remember? And why does our attitude towards privacy and fame seem to convince us that meaning can only come from our participation in outward, public, or historical events?

The entirety of Notes from the Grid might well be an echo of George Eliot’s closing lines, in her novel Middlemarch: “For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

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