„If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.“

—  Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
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„Everyone in my book accuses everyone else of being crazy. Frankly, I think the whole society is nuts — and the question is: What does a sane man do in an insane society?“

—  Joseph Heller American author 1923 - 1999
As quoted in "Heller's legacy will be 'Catch-22' ideas" at CNN (13 December 1999) http://archives.cnn.com/1999/books/news/12/13/heller/index.html

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„I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?“

—  Franz Kafka, Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors
Context: I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?... we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. Letter to Oskar Pollak http://www.languagehat.com/archives/001062.php (27 January 1904) Variant translations: If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. A book should be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us. A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.

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„I read On the Road in maybe 1959. It changed my life like it changed everyone else's.“

—  Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist 1941
On the influence of Jack Kerouac on him, as quoted Grasping for the Wind : The Search for Meaning in the 20th Century (2001) by John W. Whitehead

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Albert Szent-Györgyi photo

„Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.“

—  Albert Szent-Györgyi Hungarian biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937 1893 - 1986
Attributed to Szent-Györgyi in: IEEE (1985) Bridging the present and the future: IEEE Professional Communication Society conference record, Williamsburg, Virginia, October 16-18, 1985. p. 14.

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„What sense of superiority it gives one to escape reading some book which every one else is reading.“

—  Alice James American diarist 1848 - 1892
As quoted in Alice James, Her Brothers — Her Journal (1934).

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„Creativity is seeing what everyone else sees, but then thinking a new thought that has never been thought before and expressing it somehow.“

—  Neil deGrasse Tyson American astrophysicist and science communicator 1958
Context: Creativity is seeing what everyone else sees, but then thinking a new thought that has never been thought before and expressing it somehow. It could be with art, a sculpture, music or even in science. The difference, however, between scientific creativity and any other kind of creativity, is that no matter how long you wait, no one else will ever compose "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony" except for Beethoven. No matter what you do, no one else will paint Van Gogh's "Starry Night." Only Van Gogh could do that because it came from his creativity.Whereas in science, you can't just make stuff up and presume that it is a proper account of nature. At the end of the day, you have to answer to nature. Since everyone has nature to answer to, your creativity is simply discovering something about the natural world that somebody else would have eventually discovered exactly the same way. They might have come through a different path, but they would have landed in the same place.Even though we name theorems and equations after the people who discover them — Newton's laws of gravity, Kepler's laws of planetary motion — somebody else would have discovered them afterward. It's that simple. Your creativity is not a boundless creativity.

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