Self-doubt in art and the art of self-doubt

Here is something that my browser history knows about me that maybe you don’t: I adore advice columns. I listen to at least three advice podcasts a week, and I read question-and-answer-style written features on the internet almost daily (okay, daily). Savage Love, Captain Awkward, and Dear Prudence are just the beginning. This might explain my affection for Petrarch’s curious Secretum (De Secreto Conflictu Curarum Mearum, or The Private Conflict of my Inner Thoughts), which we might glibly call a 14th-century self-help manual for aspiring Stoics.

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