I am a free man―and I need my freedom. I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company. What do you want of me? When I have something to say, I put it in print. When I have something to give, I give it. Your prying curiosity turns my stomach! Your compliments humiliate me! Your tea poisons me! I owe nothing to any one. I would be responsible to God alone―if He existed!
— Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
The dark veil enshrouding the ancient pictures had not yet wholly passed away from before them; but he already saw something in them, though in private he did not agree with the professor that the secrets of the old masters are irremediably lost to us.
— Nikolai Gogol, from The Mysterious Portrait
why are you crying?
has life not been fair to you—
not been good to you?
have you stopped beating for beautiful things?
are you company-starved—
yet company no longer warms you?
i wonder that myself sometimes…
you take in so much—
you must burst!
but it becomes everything or nothing—
every impression, every notion, every sound
humans turn to moving dots
cold and soft
floating across the fields of vision
while few remain in your heart
will they too float away
like yourself some day—
who ever held yours?
I do not believe in fate, yet I feel something fateful in every step I take.
His dark eyes took me in, and I wondered what they would look like if he fell in love.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Love of the Last Tycoon