From the ancient Minotaur myth to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining … why are mazes so powerful and comforting in confusing times?

I cannot navigate. My internal disorientation is mirrored by the world’s; perhaps it is even caused by it. We are surrounded by confusion. I am afraid of what will happen. Round every corner, down every false trail, there are monstrous dangers that threaten to consume us. Will we ever find a clear path to lead us through?

I have never been able to find my way. If I once possessed a sense of direction, I have long surrendered it to the reassuring blue thread of the map on my smartphone. But I never had one, really. Turn me loose in a city without a map and panic rises, as if I were a child who had lost the grip of a parent’s hand in a crowd.

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