Currently Reading (3)
I wonder, is it a coincidence that computers achieved their dominance at just the moment that life on earth became so cataclysmically imperilled? I wonder if that was a driver, if part of the urge to escape feeling, to plug the need for contact with the drug of perpetual attention, comes from the anxiety that we will one day be the last ones left, the last species surviving on this multifarious, flowered planet, drifting through empty space. That's the nightmare, isn't it, to be abandoned in perpetuity? Robinson Crusoe on his island, Frankenstein's monster disappearing on to the ice, Solaris, Gravity, Alien, a weeping Will Smith in I am Legend wandering the desolate, unpeopled, post-plague city of New York, begging a mannequin in an abandoned video store to please say hello to me, please say hello to me: all these horror stories revolve around the terror of solitude without the prospect of cure, loneliness without the hope of alleviation or redemption.
Olivia Laing: The Lonely City