The Discontent of the Writer

by J. Tobias Beard

[T]his discontent is the basic trait that turns a person into a writer. Patience and toil are not enough: first, we must feel compelled to escape crowds, company, the stuff of ordinary life, and shut ourselves up in a room. … I would like to see myself as belonging to the tradition of writers who — wherever they are in the world, East or West — cut themselves off from society and shut themselves up in their rooms with their books; this is the starting point of true literature.

– Orhan Pamuk, on receiving the Nobel prize for literature in 2006