The Long Loneliness

Memoirs of a Revolutionist and the Life of a Saint: Kropotkin's Influence on Dorothy Day College

Stories, narratives, and scripts play a crucial role in the life of any human being. We learn human speech through listening to fairy tales our parents tell us over the cradle. We find our heroes and role models on the pages of teenage novels and adventure movies. We understand the place of our country and our time in the wider mosaic of human existence through acquaintance with history - a very powerful script in its own right. Both religion and science on the level of their substantial organization present narratives. Some modern psychologists even argue that our concept of self is the result of the narration of experience - essentially an exercise in storytelling. Perhaps the genre of written autobiography is one of the most persuasive proofs of the latter statement. Especially the autobiography that is as rich, insightful, and personal as Dorothy Day`s The Long Loneliness.

The importance of written narratives for the formation of the author`s worldview is one of the central points in the story of her life. As Mrs. Day herself puts it, “though my only experience of the destitute was in books, the very fact that The Jungle was about Chicago [...], whose streets I walked, made me feel that from then on my life was to be linked...

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