‘If I stop and think of the people closest to me, of where they might be at this exact moment, what they might be up to, how they might be feeling, what might be preoccupying their thoughts, the weight of their concerns, I become incapable of doing anything else. It is a truly debilitating state. It fills me with immeasurable anxiety, sorrow and longing. I have never understood why the basic fact of the lives of those with whom I am intimate running concurrently and separately from mine must fill me with such darkness.’

– Hisham Matar, A Month in Siena

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