The Darkness of Sheltered Existence

Over many years, [Hannah Arendt] used figures of light and visibility in her accounts of what was necessary for there to be any substantive political life. For an individual to have political effectiveness, there needed to be a balance, a moving back and forth between bright, even harsh exposure of public activity and the protected, shielded sphere of domestic or private life, of what she calls “the darkness of sheltered existence.” Elsewhere she refers to “the twilight that suffuses our private and intimate lives.” Without that space or time of privacy, away from “the implacable bright light of the constant presence of others on the public scene,” there could be no possibility of the nurturing of the singularity of the self, a self that could make a substantive contribution to exchanges about the common good.

…in The Human Condition she elaborated these two realms in terms of a rhythmic balance between exhaustion and regeneration: …

Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, 21.