[first published on Chris’s blog Chriscellany]
I was very sad yesterday to learn that Norman Geras had died. As a lot of people have already said, I felt it as a personal loss despite having no personal relationship to the man. Although he was never part of my exterior life, Norm’s voice has been a regular feature of my interior world for the best part of ten years. When he started blogging in 2003 I was yet to turn twenty, and his death yesterday came just a day after my thirtieth birthday. That’s an important decade for a young person. At the start of it you’re still clambering free from the confining solipsism of adolescence, just starting to avert your gaze from your own navel toward the world around you. By the end of it, you should be properly sobered up from youthful affectations and illusions of invulnerability and ready to approach life’s lessons with the appropriate humility.