Private Parts

Feeling exposed today? Privacy – is it even possible in today’s world?   But doesn’t everyone try to keep a piece of themselves hidden?

After reading the article on Bloomsberg in the New York Times, and his quest for a private life…

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/nyregion/26bermuda.html

I wondered about books on privacy…

Most books on the topic seem to be obsessed with electronic surveillance and internet security.   Every now and then, the news will carry the latest debacle on idiots who should know better, even when they know they are being watched…nothing is private…

Would it make any difference if we knew everything about everyone – isn’t a little mystery a good thing?  Mystery in fiction depends on concealment – unwrapping the character with the solution.

“… a great deal of mystery is always left in the revelation of character in life, even in one’s own character to himself.” Tennessee Williams

Classics foretold an obsession with privacy  – Orwell’s 1984, Sinclair Lewis with It Can’t Happen Here.   But nobody did it better than Noel Coward who famously and cynically poked fun at the public face most present to the world – keeping real thoughts and selves behind a mask of “proper” or expected behavior in Private Lives.

Who do you really know – even when you know about them?