Solitude: A Return to the Self

Solitude: A Return to the Self by Anthony Storr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this thinking it was fully about the effects of being alone on the mind.

What I instead read was how solitude impacted geniuses from the past and in some cases directly contributed to their talents.

While it may sound like these two things are one and the same, I felt a distinct difference in what I was expecting to read and what I actually ended up reading.

This didn’t turn out to be a bad thing however, the book was full of psychoanalysis on the factors that determine if one can be healthily alone as an adult. I found there to be many gems of wisdom scattered across each chapter and opened my mind to quite a few interesting concepts.

One such idea was the link between a child feeling safe in the availability of his/her Mother affecting its ability to explore their environment and increasing their self confidence. This in turn allows an individual to feel freer to pursue their own hobbies and work in solitude compared to those children who have not had the same secure upbringing.

All in all, I feel as though this book has opened my eyes as to what exactly is meant by, and what enables a person to live a life wherein solitude plays a part, even if it is only a small part. The depth by which it is affected (and affected by) psychology is fascinating.

Not what I was expecting, but I’m happy I read it nonetheless.

Leave a Reply