The B.B.C. wants to know whether any member of your family has withdrawn to his bedroom for months or years on end and how the problem was resolved (if indeed it has been)? A selection of your comments will be published. Hikikomori has entered the Oxford English Dictionary as "In Japan: abnormal avoidance of social contact":
Mr. Kenny ("call me Anthony"), the former Master of Baliol College, whose most recent publication A New History of Western Philosophy appeared only last year, is worried about the same thing. C. S. Lewis, he tells us, "was personally shabby and unkempt, and he let his house get into an unhealthily filthy state. What is more, he refused to learn to type or drive a 'car,' he smoked and drank heavily, and invited his dinner guests to whip him for one shilling a lash. But Lewis's was a single intellectual life," continues Mr. Kenny, "with the literature, the philosophy, and the theology closely interwoven with each other."
How different from Mr. Heath the one-time prime minister, who lived four separate lives and so was obliged to write three separate biographies: one about his musical life, one about his sea-faring life, and another about his life in politics! (We have not yet heard much about his fourth life.)