Franz Kafka – 1 of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Novelist and writer of short stories whose works came to be regarded as 1 of the major achievements of 20th century literature.
“You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
— Franz Kafka
Nikola Tesla – inventor, 1 of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity, best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism. And yes, this is the same Nikola Tesla that Elon Musk had admired and named his electric vehicle company after: Tesla Motors.
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”
— Nikola Tesla
Joseph Haydn: A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Hungarian aristocratic Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, “forced to become original.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German writer and polymath. Goethe’s works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy and science. His magnum opus, lauded as 1 of the peaks of world literature, is the 2-part drama Faust.
“One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.”
Pablo Picasso – Spanish painter best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortunes throughout his life, making him 1 of the best known figures in 20th century art.
“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
— Pablo Picasso
Carl Sandburg – American writer and editor, best known for his poetry. He won 3 Pulitzer Prizes, 2 for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. H. L. Mencken called Carl Sandburg “indubitably an American in every pulse-beat.”
“One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude.”
— Carl Sandburg
Thomas Mann – German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.
“Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.”
— Thomas Mann