“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
Paine, Albert Bigelow. Mark Twain, A Biography: The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Source).
“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort.
“And that is why we write.”
-Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medal acceptance speech for The Graveyard Book at the annual conference of the American Library Association in Chicago, July 12, 2009.
“Love is not the admiration of perfection, but the acceptance of an imperfect person with all his imperfections, because loving and accepting him makes us better and stronger.”
-Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (147).
“Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself. ”
-Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
“Life… has to be lived for something, not just against something.”
-Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (137), in discussing the perspective of Martin Gray, holocaust survivor.
“…There are two entirely opposite attitudes possible in facing the problems of one’s life. One, to try and change the external world, the other, to try and change oneself. Although both attitudes are potential in everyone, most of us have become one-sided, biased toward the preferred attitude in most of our dealings…”
-Marion Milner (pseudonym Joanna Field), A Life of One’s Own, Preface.
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
-George Orwell, Why I Write (1946)
For he that does good, having the unlimited power to do evil, deserves praise not only for the good which he performs, but for the evil which he forbears.
-Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
This is what it means to create: not to make something out of nothing, but to make order out of chaos. A creative scientist or historian does not make up facts but orders facts; he sees connections between them rather than seeing them as random data.
A creative writer does not make up new words but arranges familiar words in patterns which say something fresh to us.
-Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (51, 52).
Thanks to Confessions of an Irish Procrastinator for nominating me for quotes. I only like to share one, myself; but thanks for shouting out. 🙂
If you expect the worst from a person you can never be disappointed.
-Anthony Burgess, The Wanting Seed