"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Me, Myself and I

George Kimball has a fine profile of Pete Hamill and Hamill’s new novel, “Tabloid City” in the Irish Times. This part spoke to me:

Introducing Hamill at a symposium celebrating the publication of Tabloid City a few weeks ago, fellow writer Adam Gopnik alluded to Tabloid City’s “recurrent theme of loneliness”, but he was quickly corrected by Hamill. While most of the novel’s characters do fly solo, some do so by choice.

“I would draw the distinction between loneliness and solitude,” says Hamill. “Many of us, particularly writers and artists, cherish our solitude.” He and Fukiko maintain separate working quarters in their Tribeca loft.

“Many people adjust to being alone by embracing solitude, rather than surrendering to loneliness, and there’s something almost ennobling about that. With a good book in the house, you’re never alone. But since being alone – at least in my opinion – can be most difficult at night, some people fill their nights with work.”

I used to be uncomfortable being alone. Maybe it is because I’m a twin, I don’t know. But I associated being alone with being lonely. Now, I see that solitude is not necessarily depressing or isolating at all. And that is a great relief.

[Photo Credit:  David Senechal Polydactyle]


1 bags   ~  Jun 7, 2011 6:11 pm

love that distinction.

i'm a huge fan of solitude.

i think that's part of what i love about nyc.

i can have solitude while surrounded by humanity.

2 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 7, 2011 6:14 pm

[1] You nailed it, bags. There's a strange sort of peace that settles in when I'm sitting having a coffee within Shinjuku Station, Tokyo, most crowded spot on earth with 4 million people passing through daily. Being totally alone in the countryside kind of freaks me out though..

3 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 7, 2011 7:46 pm

2) I'm with you on that countryside shit! LOL

4 Boatzilla   ~  Jun 8, 2011 3:04 am

[2] That's the best kind of lonely. On a mountain trail drinking in the fresh air or an empty beach conversing with the ocean. Atop a white peak, your skis crunching the snow, first run of the morning. Not a soul in site. That's heaven.

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