Every story has already been told. Once you’ve read Anna Karenina, Bleak House, The Sound and the Fury, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Wrinkle in Time, you understand that there is really no reason to ever write another novel. Except that each writer brings to the table, if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of time has ever had.”
[Commencement Speech; Mount Holyoke College, May 23, 1999]
Absurdity and anti-absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.
A person has to be too much selfish to fulfill own wish of being surrounded by many people often, else s/he feels suffocated due to hatred or hidden jealousy from the most public around her/him.
Breathing is not original, but it’s still what I love best.
…the scramble to get higher, to be seen, the cycle of creation and rebellion, everyone assuming they were saying something new or doing something new, something profound–when the truth was tat it had all been done a million billion times.
The small are always dependent on the great; they are “small” precisely because they think they are independent. The great thinker is one who can hear what is greatest in the work of other “greats” and who can transform it in an original manner.
All ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the gardener with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing.
Conform, go crazy, or become an artist.
But I should caution that if you seek to plot out all your moves before you make them-if you put your faith in slow, deliberative planning in the hopes it will spare you failure down the line-well, you’re deluding yourself. For one thing, it’s easier to plan derivative work-things that copy or repeat something already out there. So if your primary goal is to have a fully worked out, set-in-stone plan, you are only upping your chances of being unoriginal.
Originality and initiative are what I ask for my country.