Solitude

A description of Salman Rushdie under police protection:

“Like all writers he was familiar with solitude, used to spending several hours a day by himself the people he had lived with had grown accustomed to his need for such silence. But now he was with enormous armed men, men unused to inactivity, the polar opposites of bookish, indoorsy types.

They clattered and banged and laughed loud laughs and the thump of their presence in his vicinity was hard to ignore. He shut doors inside the house; they left them open. He retreated; they advanced. It wasn’t their fault. They assume he would like, and need, a little company. But isolation was the thing he had to work hardest to re-create around himself, so that he could hear himself think, so he could work.”
Salman Rushdie in Joseph Anton

Knowing who you are

“He was already beginning to understand that what was wrong with his writing was that there was something wrong, something misconceived, about him. If he hadn’t become the writer he thought he had it in him to be, it was because he didn’t know who he was. And slowly, from his ignominious place at the bottom of the literary barrel, he began to understand who that person might be.”
Salman Rushdie in Joseph Anton