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ORIGINALITY
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[ Also see Beginnings Discovery Distinction Eccentricity Emulation Genius Imitation Individuality Innovation Invention Literature Novelty Plagiarism Singularity Style ]

Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.
      - Ansel Adams

No man knows himself as an original.
      - Washington Allston

The greater a man's talents, the more marked his idiosyncracies. Yet in the provinces originality is considered perilously close to lunacy.
      - Honore de Balzac

About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
      - Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw)

The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity. The believing man is the original man; whatsoever he believes, he believes it for himself, not for another.
      - Thomas Carlyle

Every man is an original and solitary character. None can either understand or feel the book of his own life like himself.
      - Richard Cecil

I would rather be the author of one original thought than conqueror of a hundred battles. Yet moral excellence is so much superior to intellectual, that I ought to esteem one virtue more valuable than a hundred original thoughts.
      - William Benton Clulow

The originality of a subject is in its treatment.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Be the first to say what is self-evident, and you are immortal.
      - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

One couldn't carry on life comfortably without a little blindness to the fact that everything has been said better than we can put it ourselves.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Great men are more distinguished by range and extent than by originality.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If they haven't heard it before it's original.
      - Gene Fowler

If you would create something, you must be something.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

People are always talking about originality; but what do they mean? As soon as we are born, the world begins to work upon us; and this goes on to the end. And after all, what can we call our own, except energy, strength, and will? If I could give an account of all that I owe to great predecessors and contemporaries, there would be but a small balance in my favor.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.
      - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Those writers who lie on the watch for novelty can have little hope of greatness; for great things cannot have escaped former observation.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

All thoughtful men are solitary and original in themselves.
      - James Russell Lowell

Men have their intellectual ancestry, and the likeness of some one of them is forever unexpectedly flashing out in the features of a descendant, it may be after a gap of several centuries. In the parliament of the present every man represents a constituency of the past.
      - James Russell Lowell

Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.
      - John Stuart Mill

Utter originality is, of course, out of the question.
      - Ezra Pound

Millions of people are provided with their thoughts as with their clothes; authors, printers, booksellers, and newsmen stand, in relation to their minds, simply as shoemakers and tailors stand to their bodies.
      - George Augustus Henry Sala

They who have light in themselves will not revolve as satellites.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

What the world calls originality is only an unaccustomed method of tickling it.
      - George Bernard Shaw

Originality does not consist in saying what no one else has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself.
      - James Stephens

What stories are new? All types of all characters march through all fables.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray


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