I have at last, after several months' experience, made up my mind that [New York] is a splendid deserta domed and steepled solitude, where the stranger is lonely in the midst of a million of his race.
(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Daily Alta California (June 5, 1867). Mark Twain's Travels with Mr. Brown, ch. 25, eds. Franklin Walker and G. Ezra Dane, Knopf (1940).)
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
(Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. address recorded for the Nobel Prize Committee, Dec. 10, 1954, accepting the Nobel Prize for literature. Published in Carlos Baker, Hemingway: the Writer as Artist, ch. 13, third edition (1963).)
The haughty and imperious part of a man develops rapidly on one of these lonely sugar plantations, where the owner rarely meets with anyone except his slaves and minions.
(Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 254, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (January 30, 1849).
Written while visiting a college classmate in Texas.)
The twentieth-century artist who uses symbols is alienated because the system of symbols is a private one. After you have dealt with the symbols you are still private, you are still lonely, because you are not sure anyone will understand it except yourself. The ransom of privacy is that you are alone.
(Louise Bourgeois (b. 1911), U.S. sculptor. As quoted in Lives and Works, by Lynn F. Miller and Sally S. Swenson (1981).)