I lead a life much below my level. Beyond the books, which trickle in slowly (I have to read what I can get, not what I have a mind to read), I have nothing to sustain my inner life; and everything around me exudes an indescribable [tedium] … which presses down on me too with its brutal weight. Nothing on the order of a stroll with a dear person, not [even] one hour of quiet and serene contemplation–all is tainted by mundane worry and staleness. I take it that productive creators fence themselves off from their environment by a certain regimen of living, a certain organization of their daily routine that does not allow the workaday banality, humdrum job, and the rest of it to get to them. I badly feel the lack of such a regimen, my incapacity to subject myself to such a discipline. One must, for instance, fence off one’s inner life, not permit the vermin of ordinary cares to infest it.
—  Bruno Schulz