Jul 12, ”Man,” as Anthony Storr observes in his new book, ”Solitude,” ”was not born for love alone,” and solitude sometimes has a great deal to be said. Solitude by Anthony Storr – Originally published in , Anthony Storr’s bestselling meditation on the creative individual’s need for solitude has become a . A review of Anthony Storr’s Solitude: a Return to the Self.
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This is an essential book for the psychology of solitude. Not only is Storr impeccably credentialed for his subject as a practicing psychiatrist and Oxford scholar, but his book is engagingly written, informative, and packed with examples of writers, composers, and philosophers who illustrate Storr’s points about the connection between solitude and creativity.
The examples reflect the author’s intimacy with the literature of the past and present, not reducing his science to abstractions or anomalous case studies. With his step-by-step demonstration of the efficacy — indeed, necessity — of solitude, and his carefully drawn biographical material and command of the psychology classics, Storr is an excellent guide.
For all that, it must be said that Storr is not offering an historical angle to solitude.
He is not looking for famous solitaries, be they hermits or monks East or West. He is not developing a psychology of eremitism. Storr builds an analysis of the psychology of self, breaking down the components of infancy and childhood, the characteristics of the temperaments and personalities, and the anhtony of solitude in the creative person.
His first solutude is to consider solitude as the “capacity to be alone,” and his final chapter concludes that the most profound human experiences have very little to do with interpersonal relationships. The Significance of Human Relationships.
Challenges the notion that human relationships are the “touchstone of health and happiness. The capacity to be alone is “linked with self-discovery and self-realization; with becoming aware of one’s deepest needs, anthonyy, and impulses. Identifies what Romain Rolland called the “oceanic” feeling; contrasts the Freud and Jung interpretations of the ecstatic as regression Freud versus high achievement Jung.
Solitude is related to this feeling. The psychological effects of solitary confinement, sensory deprivation, prolonged illness, physical handicaps such as deafness. The Hunger of Imagination.
Solitude | Book by Anthony Storr | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster
Imagination of “divine discontent” and the role of adaptability and fantasy. The Significance of the Individual. Interests and fields of endeavor often define individuals more clearly than their solituxe relationships.
Creative endeavors have traditionally been defined in terms of serving the community, but the highly creative and deeply religious have not related their work or attainments in this stotr.
Modern psychology idealizes human relationships to the point of misleading people.
Extraversion and introversion applied to solitude. A rich chapter correlating Atnhony, Warringer, Hudson, and Gardner.
Separation, Isolation, and the Growth of Imagination. Primarily historical examples of writers.
Bereavement, Depression and Repair. Childhood loss and its effects on temperament in adulthood, with English poets as examples. The Search for Coherence.
Solitude: A Return to the Self by Anthony Storr
Examples of “creative individuals whose principal concern was not primarily with human relationships but with the search for coherence and sense. Old age and the waning of emotion dependence and shift of preoccupation to internal concerns. Composers and novelists as examples. The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole. The sense of unity or harmony with self, others and the universe is far more complex that Freud’s sexual and pleasure principle or regression.
The sense of unity can be triggered by nature, art, religion, love, childbirth, knowledge, and creativity, but also by solitude and silence. URL of this page: