The vulnerability threshold

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  • Published 20060905
  • ISBN: 9780733319389
  • Extent: 288 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

“WE TELL OURSELVES stories in order to live.” So begins The White Album, Joan Didion’s collection of essays about the 1960s. If the ’60s were about imposing a new narrative on events – constructing a story out of the times (women burning bras, men burning draft tickets, naked couples making love in the mud at Woodstock), then what is the narrative their children impose on their lives?

Growing up in the most rapid era of change means there’s little room to absorb events, let alone derive meaning from them. In the early part of this century, only one clear narrative has emerged – terrorism. Whatever we do in our lives – however unconnected it is to the realpolitik – can be interpreted through this prism, the lens greased with fear.

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