Create your own method. Don’t depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you.
—Constantin Stanislavski (1863–1938) Russian Actor, Theater Personality
Originality is not seen in single words or even sentences. Originality is the sum total of a man’s thinking or his writing.
—Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902–91) Polish-born American Children’s Books Writer, Novelist, Short Story Writer
The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.
—Rita Mae Brown (b.1944) American Writer, Feminist
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for, and constantly quarrel with.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
It is better to create than to be learned; creating is the true essence of life.
—Barthold G. Niebuhr
Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.
—Charles Kuralt (1934–97) American Journalist, TV Personality
Don’t worry about your originality. You couldn’t get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick with you and show up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.
—Robert Henri (1865–1929) American Painter, Teacher
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
—Herman Melville (1819–91) American Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Poet
I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.
—Muriel Strode (1875–1964) American Author, Businesswoman
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
The original is unfaithful to the translation.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work.
—Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) French Poet, Novelist, Dramatist, Playwright, Artist
All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.
—Adlai Stevenson (1900–65) American Diplomat, Politician, Orator
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.
—Burton Hillis (William E. Vaughan) (1915–77) American Columnist, Author
Begin with another’s to end with your own.
A great idea is usually original to more than one discoverer. Great ideas come when the world needs them. They surround the world’s ignorance and press for admission.
—Austin Phelps (1820–90) American Presbyterian Clergyman, Educator, Theologian
Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author