I'm arguing that arts and letters can help us to avoid nasty spats online - the costs of a disembodied relationship. (So the headline's not quite accurate, but never mind.) A sample:
One of the great achievements of the modern novel... is its depiction of consciousness: the inner life usually lost to us. This is why I keep re-reading Virginia Woolf's brilliant Mrs Dalloway: good fiction can help us realise how much of another human being is left out, exaggerated, diminished or just faked. It is a lesson in the precariousness of understanding, and a spur to greater artistry with words.
Ultimately, words cannot replace palpable proximity. Hence the lament of so many letter-writers over the ages: "If only we could be together." We cannot write ourselves out of separation. Nonetheless, with mindfulness and practice, we can certainly diminish its dangers.(Photo: Llewi034)