clipped from article:
In 2010, the last year of his life, historian Tony Judt published a small book of essays, "The Memory Chalet," most of which was written (or rather dictated ) while he was - as he put it - "free to contemplate at leisure and in minimal discomfort the catastrophic progress of one's own deterioration." In his case, deterioration resulting from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS ), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
In one of those extremely perceptive and moving essays, entitled "Edge People," Judt wrote about people like him, for whom identity is far from being self-evident. As labels purporting to define "identity" made him uneasy, the outspoken Judt - a nonobservant Jew, intellectual, individualist, nonconformist but conservative, by his own definition - preferred the edge, "the place where countries, communities, allegiances, affinities and roots bump uncomfortably up against one another."
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