Fast Company

The great German writer and realpolitik statesman Goethe once said “talent is nurtured in solitude.” The only way to achieve true creativity, then, was to become “a child of solitude.”

But in our culture of constant connectivity, is solitude still needed, let alone possible? And when creators come down to Earth via Twitter, Facebook, and email, making themselves more publicly accessible than ever before, is there any hope for pure, untempered creation? Has the Internet made writers, painters, architects, and scientists more successful because they can reach a wider audience, or has all that white-noise hamstrung the very value these people are known for: creation? After all, what is art now, aside from the random expressions of everyone?

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