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The Unbearable Lightness of Diana
In the week after Princess Diana’s death I was baffled and deeply alienated by the public response to the horrifying accident, and its amplification by the mass media. I could neither understand nor share the apparent outpouring of grief, nor the explanations thought up by media commentators for the flowers, the poems, the queues and the candles. Of course, I thought it was terribly sad—the death of a young woman and mother when on the threshold, it seemed, of a happier period in her life—but I did not feel I had lost a friend or a member of my family. On the contrary, since a neighbour of mine had just died, I was painfully aware of the difference between the death of someone who actually was a friend and the more ethereal loss of someone known only as a media figure.
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