— Oscar Wilde Irish writer and poet 1854 - 1900
„The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity.“
„We must learn how to imitate Cicero from Cicero himself. Let us imitate him as he imitated others.“
— Desiderius Erasmus Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and theologian 1466 - 1536
in The Erasmus Reader (1990), p. 130.
„It was as the supreme expression of the mediocrity of the apparatus that Stalin himself rose to his position.“
— Leon Trotsky Marxist revolutionary from Russia 1879 - 1940
— Ray Bradbury American writer 1920 - 2012
Context: And from above a voice fused half in iron Half in irony gives man a dreadful choice. The role is his, it says, Man makes and loads his own strange dice, They sum at his behest, He dooms himself. He is his own sad jest. Let go? Let be? Why do you ask this gift from Me? When, trussed and bound and nailed, You sacrifice your life, your liberty You hang yourself upon the tenterhook. Pull free!
„Few people are prepared to use their reason without fear or favor, or bold enough to apply it relentlessly to every moral, political and social issue: to kings and ministers, to men in high places … And if we don't, we're doomed to remain mediocre.“
— Nicolas Chamfort French writer 1741 - 1794
„We need imagination in programming, not sterility; creativity, not imitation; experimentation, not conformity; excellence, not mediocrity. Television is filled with creative, imaginative people. You must strive to set them free.“
— Newton N. Minow United States attorney and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission 1926
„One time, my wife said to me, [imitating his wife] "Honey, the dryer is broken." [as himself] Did you check the lint trap? [imitating his wife with a clueless face] Sit down, honey, I'll check it. [as his wife] "Was there anything in there?" [as himself] There's a quilt in there. Look! You made a sofa cushion.“
— Ron White American comedian 1956
— Herbert Beerbohm Tree English actor and theatre manager 1852 - 1917
Quoted by Max Beerbohm in Hebert Beerbohm Tree: Some Memories of Him and of His Art Collected by Max Beerbohm http://books.google.com/books?id=wM08AAAAIAAJ&q="A+man+never+knows+what+a+fool+he+is+until+he+hears+himself+imitated+by+one"&pg=PA312#v=onepage (1920).
„Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.“
— Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Context: Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three.
„Doom very evenly! Do not doom one doom to the rich; another to the poor! Nor doom one doom to your friend; another to your foe!“
— Alfred the Great King of Wessex 849 - 899
The Doom Book (c. 893 AD).
— Margaret Mead American anthropologist 1902 - 1978
Context: When human beings have been fascinated by the contemplation of their own hearts, the more intricate biological pattern of the female has become a model for the artist, the mystic, and the saint. When mankind turns instead to what can be done, altered, built, invented, in the outer world, all natural properties of men, animals, or metals become handicaps to be altered rather than clues to be followed. Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to be as mediocre as possible. Quote magazine (15 June 1958)
„The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.“
— Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
„There was a Socratic style of life (which the Cynics were to imitate), and the Socratic dialogue was an exercise which brought Socrates’ interlocutor to put himself in question, to take care of himself, and to make his soul as beautiful and wise as possible.“
— Pierre Hadot French historian and philosopher 1922 - 2010
trans. Michael Chase (1995), p. 269
„Art imitates nature not in its effects as such, but in its causes, in its ‘manner,’ in its process, which are nothing but a participation in and a derivation of actual objects, of the Art of God himself.“
— Paul Claudel French diplomat 1868 - 1955
as quoted in "The man who got it right," The New York Review of Books, Volume 60, Number 13, August 15, 2013, p. 72