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Introduction : the chatter of the present -- Definitions of solitude -- Distraction : the flip side of engagement -- Antigone : literature as "thinking apart" -- The workshop model in New York City -- The folly of the "big idea" -- The cult of success -- Mass personalization and the "underground man" -- The need for loneliness -- The practice of solitude -- Discernment and the public sphere -- Conclusion : setting up shop.