A Series of Episodes

“The ‘individual’ – that creation of the seventeenth century – had an identity, which is to say, a stable sense of self from birth to death. Their life could be told as a narrative, factually in an autobiography, fictionally in a novel, both of them genres which achieved great popularity in the modern age. Something happens when change is so rapid that nothing confers meaning – when lives become lifestyles, commitments become experiments, relationships become provisional, careers turn into contracts, and life itself ceases to have the character of a narrative and becomes instead a series of episodes with no connecting thread.”

The Dignity of Difference, p. 65