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Cody Delistraty

Writer, New York/Paris

Cody Delistraty is a writer and historian based in New York and Paris. He writes on literature, psychology and interesting humans. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Atlantic, among others.

Written by Cody Delistraty



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Only the lonely

Cody Delistraty

One of the reasons I wrote this piece is because I believe that everyone should experience some form of loneliness. Some of us are lucky enough to choose where and when that might be. Others are not so fortunate. In either case, it is a distinct pain that can, eventually, be parlayed into something even greater than pleasure: an understanding of oneself and one’s purpose. The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke tells the Young Poet to “love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you.” Pain into song. Loneliness in meaning. The only way to understand oneself is to live with oneself—to create one’s own meaning, to be alone. Easier said than done? Yes, perhaps.

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When it’s good to be bad

Cody Delistraty

What I found perhaps most interesting while researching this essay is the way in which socioeconomic status is often ignored when it comes to achievement. It tends to be parried with corollary claims of grit and meritocracy, but we all know that people from lower socioeconomic statuses are going to tend to have more difficult paths to success and thus face more obstacles. With that in mind, the best mindset for achieving goals is perhaps to realize that you may have more setbacks than others and that it will take more than just hard work to be successful. Thinking exclusively in terms of grit is a particularly naive way to think about goal achievement. Rather, if you realize the obstacles...

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