Bergmann, Ina; Hippler, Stefan, eds. (2017):
Cultures of Solitude: Loneliness – Limitation – Liberation. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang

This collection of essays comprises cultural analyses of practices of eremitism and reclusiveness in the USA, which are inseparably linked to the American ideals of individualism and freedom. Covering a time frame from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, the essays study cultural products such as novels, poems, plays, songs, paintings, television shows, films, and social media, which represent the costs and benefits of deliberate withdrawal and involuntary isolation from society. Thus, this book offers valuable contributions to contemporary cultural discourses on privacy, surveillance, new technology, pathology, anti-consumerism, simplification, and environmentalism. Solitaries can be read as trailblazers for an alternative future or as symptoms of a pathological society.

Ina Bergmann and Stefan Hippler: "Acknowledgments" 9 // Ina Bergmann: "Cultures of Solitude: Refections on Loneliness, Limitation, and Liberation in the US" 13 // Svend Erik Larsen: "'Alone, Without a Guide': Solitude as a Literary and Cultural Paradox" 45 // Kevin L. Cope: "The Enigmatic and the Ecological: American Late Enlightenment Hermits and the Pursuit of, in Addition to Happiness, Permanence" 61 // Coby Dowdell: "'The Luxury of Solitude': Conduct, Domestic Deliberation, and the Eighteenth-Century Female Recluse" 79 // Ina Bergmann: "'Away to Solitude, to Freedom, to Desolation!': Hermits and Recluses in Julia Ward Howe’s The Hermaphrodite 101 // Margaretta M. Lovell: "Thoreau and the Landscapes of Solitude: Painted Epiphanies in Undomesticated Nature" 123 // Hélène Quanquin: "'The World to Each Other': The Joint Politics of Isolation and Reform among Garrisonian Abolitionists" 139 // Ira J. Cohen: "Three Types of Deep Solitude: Religious Quests, Aesthetic Retreats, and Withdrawals due to Personal Distress" 155 // Kevin Lewis: "American Lonesome: Our Native Sense of Otherness" 169 // Randall Roorda: "'Mind Is the Cabin': Substance and Success in Post-Thoreauvian Second Homes" 187 // Nassim Winnie Balestrini: "Socially Constructed Selfood: Emily Dickinson in Full-Cast and Single-Actor Plays" 203 // Jochen Achilles: "Changing Cultures of Solitude: Reclusiveness in Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street" 217 // Clare Hayes-Brady: "'It’s What We Have in Common, This Aloneness': Solitude,
Communality, and the Self in the Writing of David Foster Wallace 231 // Rüdiger Heinze: "Alone in the Crowd: Urban Recluses in US-American Film" 245 // Stefan Hippler: "Solitude in the Digital Age: Privacy, Aloneness, and Withdrawal in Dave Eggers’s The Circle" 259 // Scott Slovic: "Going Away to the Wilderness for Solitude … and Community: Ecoambiguity, the Engaged Pastoral, and the ‘Semester in the Wild’ Experience" 275 // Robert J. Coplan and Julie C. Bowker: Should We Be Left Alone? Psychological Perspectives on the Implications of Seeking Solitude" 287 // Contributors 303 // Index 305