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I think the apartness being discussed in Elie's biography is about that aspect in each of these writers as writers and as Catholics. This apartness is something I very much recognize both in the practice of my faith and in my attempts to write. It's a place of solitude we find in a world so often demanding of us that we engage, plug in, network. In a recent On Being they were talking to Ann Hamilton about being "alone together" —she tries to offer this experience through her art. I think these artists found some aspect of the same in their faith, their writing, and in what they hoped the reader would experience "with" them.