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Eleven Kinds of Loneliness

If you reveal everything, bare every feeling, ask for understanding, you lose something crucial to your sense of yourself. You need to know things that others don’t know. It’s what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.

Don DeLillo, Point Omega

'My heart is broken,' she goes. 'It's turned to a piece of stone. I'm no good. That's what's as bad as anything, that I'm no good anymore.'

Raymond Carver, ‘Gazebo’ 

This is the third time this week I’ve sat in my room and thought about what I’d buy if I won the lottery - ultimately admitting that I’d use it all to pay NASA to rocket my entire apartment (with me in it) deep into outerspace where the sun’s pull had no effect, or to where there’s this other sun with the exact opposite effect on growth.

Sam Pink, ‘Person’

Unless she was just paranoid, living in her head again, but you always lived in your head and you had to go with what you felt.

Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

"Let’s not talk about it," she said, almost listlessly, squashing her cigarette stub in the ashtray. "I’m way off. I’ll just ruin the whole weekend. Maybe there’s a trapdoor under my chair, and I’ll just disappear."

J.D. Salinger, ‘Franny and Zooey’

In a way, her strangeness, her naivete, her craving for the other half of her equation was the consequence of an idle imagination. Had she paints, or clay, or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings; had she anything to engage her tremendous curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for.

And like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous.

Toni Morrison, ‘Sula’

But with every word she was drawing further and further into herself, so he gave that up, and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away, tring to touch what was no longer tangible, struggling unhappily, undespairingly, toward that lost voice across the room.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky.

Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street

For loneliness assumed the absense of other people, and the solitude she found in that desperate terrain had never admitted the possibility of other people.

Toni Morrison, Sula

They were solitary little girls whose loneliness was so profound it intoxicated them and sent them stumbling into Technicolored visions that always included a presence, a someone, who, quite like the dreamer, shared the delight of the dream.

Toni Morrison, Sula

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