Patricia Lockwood · The Communal Mind

This piece by Patricia Lockwood in the London Review of Books, which she also gave as a lecture, is really quite extraordinary in the way it describes what it’s like to have your brain infected by the viral Internet.

The amount of eavesdropping was enormous. Other people’s diaries streamed around her. Should she be listening to the conversations of teenagers? Should she follow with such avidity the compliments rural sheriffs paid to porn stars, not realising that other people could see them? She lay every morning under an avalanche of details, blissed: pictures of breakfasts in Patagonia, a girl applying foundation with a hardboiled egg, a shiba inu in Japan leaping from paw to paw to greet its owner, white women’s pictures of their bruises – the world pressing closer and closer, the spider web of human connection so thick it was almost a shimmering and solid silk.

Source: Patricia Lockwood · The Communal Mind: The Internet and Me · LRB 21 February 2019

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