2016-04-07

The Guardian: "What's the world's loneliest city?"


"In Tokyo, you can rent a cuddle. Loneliness is a health issue in Manchester. And perhaps nobody is as isolated as a migrant worker in Shenzhen. But can we really know what makes a city lonely?"

Link to web site

" 'New York has a trip-hammer vitality which drives you insane with restlessness, if you have no inner stabiliser,' wrote Henry Miller after moving back to the city following almost a decade in Paris. It could be expected that the Brooklyn-born novelist would have been happy to return, yet something didn’t sit right:

" 'In New York I have always felt lonely, the loneliness of the caged animal, which brings on crime, sex, alcohol and other madnesses.' Miller didn't hurt for friends or charm – he was married five times – but he saw himself as an outsider, 'forever and ever the ridiculous man, the lonely soul', and it was his hometown that brought on this fever of loneliness.

Could Miller's words be evidence that New York – where countless people have gone to find fame, work, love and even themselves – is the loneliest city in the world? Or is it possible that the person, not the place, was the source of Miller's discontent? And if so, what is the loneliest city?

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