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  1. azhu's Avatar
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    #1

    Cool What do "lonely obsessives" mean?

    I read an article posted on the New York Times, "For Better Social Skills, Scientists Recommend a Little Chekhov", in which a new scientific finding proves a short period of literary reading helps one become more empathetic.

    And in the last section of this article, there is a phrase I couldn't understand:

    “Writers are often lonely obsessives, especially the literary ones. It’s nice to be told what we write is of social value,” she said. “However, I would still write even if novels were useless.”

    What do "lonely obsessives" mean?
    I checked obsessive on a dictionary and found that it means someone who is preoccupied by something for a long time, but still didn't help me understand the quote from the news.
    Could she possibly mean that literary writers have not been understood by the public by saying that they are "lonely obsessives?"

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What do "lonely obsessives" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by azhu View Post
    I read an article posted on the New York Times, "For Better Social Skills, Scientists Recommend a Little Chekhov", in which a new scientific finding proves a short period of literary reading helps one become more empathetic.

    And in the last section of this article, there is a phrase I couldn't understand:

    “Writers are often lonely obsessives, especially the literary ones. It’s nice to be told what we write is of social value,” she said. “However, I would still write even if novels were useless.”

    What do "lonely obsessives" mean?
    I checked obsessive on a dictionary and found that it means someone who is preoccupied by something for a long time, but still didn't help me understand the quote from the news.
    Could she possibly mean that literary writers have not been understood by the public by saying that they are "lonely obsessives?"
    Have you looked up "lonely"? Have a look at definition #4 here: Definition of lonely | Collins English Dictionary

  3. azhu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What do "lonely obsessives" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Have you looked up "lonely"? Have a look at definition #4 here: Definition of lonely | Collins English Dictionary
    Thank you for offering a definition, bhaisahab.
    I didn't think of looking up this word!
    So, judging from the definitions of Collins Dictionary, the writer in the quote basically wanted to say that little people pay attention to literary field ...right?

    The reason it confuses me is that I'm not sure whether "lonely obsessives" mean people who enjoy solitude, or actually don't like being lonely but can't find a way to escape.
    Last edited by azhu; 05-Oct-2013 at 11:43.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What do "lonely obsessives" mean?

    I think it's simply stating the fact that many writers are people who live/exist in solitude due to their profession (I guess it's easier to write when you are alone and not surrounded by distractions) and are also rather obsessive (perhaps they must write a chapter every day, perhaps they always write using yellow paper, perhaps they still write on a typewriter and not a computer).

    They are obsessive people (they are obsessives) who live a life of solitude (lonely).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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