Wanna feel good about something? Check out “The Art Of Friendship,” an essay by past and present Philadelphian Jessica Chiu, posted on The Paris Review last week. It begins like this:
Philia, the root of Philadelphia, roughly translates to “friendship” in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, an enduring source for understanding the ethics of friendship. Aristotle identifies three essential bases for friendship: utility, pleasure, and virtue. Friendships of virtue, Aristotle believes, are ideal because only they are based on recognition.
… and then goes to look at the friendships shared by our own Wharton Escherick (pictured), Sherwood Anderson and Theodore Dreiser: All giants of men, all friends, all people who needed friends, for a whole host of reasons. Just like you. And what makes Chiu’s take on all of this so fresh is the way she weaves in and out of history, trying to glean info from the past about what friendship means now. Which, she says, “has never seemed both more important and less relevant than it does now.” Preach, sis.