Interesting story, link below, about a man who lived a quarter of a century alone in the woods in Maine.
While socially a hermit, it's interesting to consider that he hovered so close to civilization always and was completely dependent on the takings and leavings of the civilization he rejected -- food, books, clothes, radios. An isolated consumer who even, finally, seemed to have lost a realistic sense of self or personhood. It's as if, in total isolation from intimacy he lost perspective about his own personhood and community, both.
When we lack intimacy and community with others, do we lose intimacy even with our own person?
Discussing the article, my mom and I chuckled at He-of-the-Propane-Tanks-and-Cheetos calling Thoreau a "dilettante."
Aside from all of this, it's interesting to think about re-entering the modern world after so long from it. His comments on the blaring lack of "nuance" as he re-entered our culture are interesting. Can you imagine the starkness of a lack of nuance and subtlety faced by this guy as he was driven down any town street or, for goodness sakes, when he turned on the tv?
And I am also fascinated that every winter he woke himself every morning at 2 am to be sure to stay warm
What a strange 25 years for the people in that community!
The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit