My thinking bent itself directly to the point I was attempting to master. I did not, however, accept it passively. If a theory convinced me, it did not remain an external, alien phenomenon; it altered my relationship with the world, and coloured all my experience.

— Simone de Beauvoir, from The Prime of Life: The Autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir; 1929-1944


One does not find solitude, one creates it. Solitude is created alone. I have created it. Because I decided that here was where I should be alone, that I would be alone to write books. It happened this way. I was alone in this house. I shut myself in—of course, I was afraid. And then I began to love it. This house became the house of writing. My books come from this house. From this light as well, and from the garden. From the light reflecting off the pond. It has taken me twenty years to write what I just said.

— Marguerite Duras, Writing