Chapter 4.



Virtual Dinners: Conversation Menus

We typically spend a lot of time getting the table and food right when we invite others over for a meal; but now that no direct hosting will be possible for…


The Cleaning Party

We normally imagine that we are in a fit state to receive our friends when we have, finally, cleared away most of what we normally are: when we’ve hidden away the…


On Talking Horizontally

At the dawn of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud made a remarkable discovery: that there can be an immense difference between what someone will tell you when they are sitting opposite you in…


Dinner Table Orchestra

One of the most astonishing and moving of all sights is that of a well-practiced orchestra working together to perform a great symphonic masterpiece. Along with 47 other equally focused colleagues,…


On Sofa Jumping

Adult social life labours under an arduous rule: that the better we want to get to know someone, the more serious should be the topics we try to raise with them.…


On Studying Someone Else's Hands

We know, in theory, all about valuing other people: respecting them as unique individuals, listening to their voice, accepting humanity in its majestic diversity… The lesson has been made for us…