Matthew Parris Matthew Parris

The joy of tuning in to the night


‘That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency,’ wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, ‘has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it.’

Her thought extends beyond ‘compassion fatigue’ in the face of global suffering on a scale beyond our homely ken, but to life itself in its unfathomable abundance: the dramas, the joys and the sorrows and the sheer activity that surrounds us and would engulf us if we paused for long enough to think about everything.

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