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 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).)
If thou fill thy brain with Boston and New York, with fashion and covetousness, and wilt stimulate thy jaded senses with wine and French coffee, thou shalt find no radiance of wisdom in the lonely waste of the pinewoods.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Poet," Essays, Second Series (1844).)