Two resolute, sunburnt, dusty girls in jerseys and short skirts, with packs on their backs, city clerks or secretaries, tramping along the road in the hot sunshine at Ripe. My instinct at once throws up a screen, which condemns them: I think them in every way angular, awkward and self assertive. But all this is a great mistake. These screens shut me out. Have no screens, for screens are made of our own integument; and get at the thing itself, which has nothing whatever in common with a screen. The screen making habit, though, is so universal that probably it preserves our sanity. If we had not this device for shutting people off from our sympathies we might perhaps dissolve utterly; separateness would be impossible. But the screens are the excess; not the sympathy. 

-Virginia Woolf, diary 1926

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