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  • Lance Mannion
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What a wonderful post. I enjoyed the tensions and play between inward and outward looking and felt a sense of you in a place. My favorite line, however, belongs to the blonde.
"It's not women who build Fortresses of Solitude," she said.


What a wonderful post. I enjoyed the tensions and play between inward and outward looking and felt a sense of you in a place. My favorite line, however, belongs to the blonde.
"It's not women who build Fortresses of Solitude," she said.

blue girl

This is a beautiful essay, Mr. Mannion. You *are* a really good writer.


Even though men don't talk so much, their often silent-presence seems to weigh up the women in their lives. At least that's why I think women crave solitude, it's not just being alone, but being free of the needs that even a silent man conveys.

Kevin Wolf

I admit to a tendency toward solitude, though I'm pretty sure I've never had the desire to write about it.

Excellent post.


The reason why some women like being alone: because society swears up and down that a woman who doesn't have a husband, child, or a gaggle of female friends hanging on her all the time is either abnormal...or a victim waiting to happen. I wish I had a buck for the number of times I've mentioned going on vacation or to the movies or dinner alone and gotten the response, "You went by _yourself_!?!" (For some reason, it's always women who ask that, and they always sound as if 1) I was an idiot; 2) I was pathetic because I had no companionship.) As well, it's an independence thing. Women are conditioned that they couldn't _possibly_ be safe or content or happy by themselves, and part of what I sense from these kinds of memoirs is the authors' "Showed you, didn't I?" :)

Kit Stolz

Speaking of Thoreau and prejudices..."It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What old people say you cannot do you try and find you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new."



Perhaps what you see as the tendancy of women to look inward in their solitude is a response to lives lived often largely for other people's needs? Most of the married women and mothers I know have wild recurrent fantasies about a solitary beach somewhere...or just a night at the movies with no one asking for something.

Oh, you made me laugh with your notions...and the way you called yourself on them.

Nigel Prance

Very interesting to read your observations about La Sarton. For years I read her journals and believed every word. . .in fact I found her something of a romatic figure, the isolated poet living along the craggy New England coast. However, the years have passsed and time has made me a bit more cynical. Reading Sarton's journals now, I am reminded of a writer writing about being a poet as if she were putting together some sort of harlequin romance. The work proves a bit too studied. Of course, the Margot Peters bio, if one is to believe bios (definitive or otherwise) provided the proverbial final nail in the casket. According to Peters, Ms Sarton could not bear to be alone and when she was in the company of other, preferred to topic of conversation to be herself. . .enough about me and so forth.

psycho cybernetics

You’ve managed to explain a really tricky subject well. I find that I sometimes have difficulty in getting my head round topics like this, but you’ve summed it up really well. I’ve found another writer that does the same thing although don’t have the details right now.

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