The habit of solitude, of solitude without anguish, had taken hold of me, and with it the pleasures of being unanswerable and being free-paradoxically, free above all of oneself. (…) Loneliness, raving loneliness, was sporadic and amenable to strategy: should it sweep over me during the day, I’d leave my desk and go for a five-mile walk in the woods or along the river, and when it insinuated itself at night, I’d temporarily put aside the book I was reading and listen to something requiring the whole of my attention -something, say, like a Bartók quartet.

Philip Roth, Exit Ghost

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