|Vonnegut and intimacy||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Kevin Day (daykeviksg1.harvard.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 08:30:50 -0600|
> >This brings to mind a quote from Kurt Vonnegut along the lines of: > >"We all evolved in communities where everyone we met on a daily basis >was someone we were *related* to. That explains why modern urban >life makes us so crazy..." > I couldn't help but chime in with my own favorite Vonnegut quote when I saw this posted by John. "Human beings need all the relatives they can get." from SLAPSTICK (or Lonesome No More!) I thought it was a very cohousing sentiment, and reiterates what John was getting at. And not only don't we have relatives around us, but we have largely lost many avenues for interaction with our neighbors (due to suburban design and the rise of dual-earner families). I think the cohousing movement reflects a public mood that has really started to mourn the lost sense of community. But with housing mobility down in the last couple decades, and greater emphasis on local governance, I really see the possibility that the trend away from community may finally be starting to reverse. Too bad cohousing seems to be such a difficult and painful process, at least for some people (I may be biased because I've been talking recently with people whose efforts had failed). Here's hoping that the public sector realizes the benefits of cohousing and can eliminate some of those obstacles - I know many are working on that, including myself, and maybe we'll succeed and give everyone as many relatives as they could want! (By the way, I highly recommend the book, if you don't mind a bit of wacked out sci-fi humor with a communitarian bent.) Kevin W. Day John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University daykevi [at] ksg.harvard.edu
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