I've come recently to the question of friendship, come contingently, as it were, from a number of convergent lines of preoccupation. I put it this way so as to underline the fact that I do not approach friendship from some supposed organic or a priori appreciation of its essential virtue. Rather, friendship as a value to think and live with comes into view for me within a certain problem-space or conjuncture. And it is from within this historicized perspective that I want to reflect briefly on friendship as a dimension of an art of living. Part of what is inspiring about the conversations between Céline Condorelli and her friends (Nick Aikens, Avery Gordon, Johan Frederik Hartle, and Polly Staple) collected in The Company She Keeps is the way they question the conventional conception of friendship's virtue.1 The literary and philosophic story of friendship...

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