And all this time there was this vociferous debate and quite shocking seeming noise going on in mitteleuropa, all the way down to Trieste, Venice, and Dubrovnik, and out towards the Middle East, on the Grete Sea, AS Chaucer called it in the Canterbury Tales. In other words, it was a debate in locations out of earshot of England, and kept that way, filled as the misty isle always is with too much thought rushing around and blotting out all other sound.
A debate about Friendship, one which linked to some words written back at the end of the last war, on the "community of those without community", as Georges Bataille had it. Along with something else besides, which I happened to recall re-reading Sebald's Austerlitz, 'I was always refining my defensive reactions, creating a kind of quarantine or immune system which, as I maintained my existence in a smaller and smaller space, protected me from anything that could be connected in any way, however distant, with my early past' ( Pp 198).
The recollection wasn't about the delegated power given by modernity to psychotherapy, WG-S's story, in the friendship he creates between the writer and the narrator, is an exercise in seeing through all of that. It was about the immune system. The way the life of the body relates to the life of the world, and the authentic ways we find to protect ourselves. From the threat of death from the community. Biopolitics. And back to Italy, and especially the writing by Roberto Esposito (Communitas, Immunitas, Bios). On Immunity. And Auto-immunity. And Quarantine as well.
In the community of those without the community. In friendship. Such as might be found among an 'anchoritic community' (Derrida, The Politics of Friendship). And mendicants. And vagabonds. And those on pilgrimage. And among some writers and artists. And among persons at the end of their lives, the dying, which of course, when we come to think of it, is us all sooner or later.