Exile as a Living Death

A friend of mine recently shared with me about how the Roman poet Ovid described exile as a living death.

This friend has also written a splendid essay reflecting on her own experience of ostracization due to cancel culture in the light of the broader tradition of our civilization.

In it, she writes:

Yet, while I don’t mean to downplay the pain of the experience, this may also be the greatest blessing of exile: it is a social murder, a death within life, which forces us into confrontation with our own finitude. If the goal of philosophy is to learn how to die, then there is no better way to practice it. Stripped of all illusions and pretense, the petty dust of life can sometimes give way to a lucid clarity. In exile, we are made to remember our true homes, while we still have time make ourselves worthy of returning there.

This is one of the best pieces I have read on cancel culture and is an excellent example of empirical and existential political theory.

Go check out Caylan Ford’s piece “They Can’t Cancel Your Soul” in the American Mind by clicking here.

Painting: “Dante in Exile” by Domenico Peterlini

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