The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 27,660
Neurons: 82,158
Location: Inside Farlex computers
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)
MechPebbles
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:49:55 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2014
Posts: 463
Neurons: 226,313
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Imitation is good. After all, we can't all be geniuses. Long live imitation!
L.Rai
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:53:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/20/2014
Posts: 716
Neurons: 1,247,209
Location: Grover Beach, California, United States
It's obvious Melville never spent time in China.

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
JUSTIN Excellence
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 1:11:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 401
Neurons: 2,787
Location: Veinau, Baden-Wuerttemberg Region, Germany

Alas! Alas! What is been lost is lost! What is gone is gone! The world has passed in its usual manner.
- H.Q. 44:29







über laboratorium dauernd zur Naturtreue
Bully_rus
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 1:28:14 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/26/2013
Posts: 2,822
Neurons: 224,223
Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
It is better cause originality eventually succeeds and imitation eventually fails... Though lose and win are greatly overrated unless the former means the death - of course!
moniquester
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 1:30:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/8/2014
Posts: 872
Neurons: 87,227
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
To create someone else's creation would be to recreate. To create something new--now there is something worth talking about!

Be the change you wish to see in the world!-Gandhi
Vit Babenco
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 1:53:33 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/16/2014
Posts: 177
Neurons: 259,570
Location: Ivanovo, Ivanovo, Russia
It's acrid and true.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:24:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/22/2014
Posts: 2,283
Neurons: 2,463,075
Location: Lilyfield, New South Wales, Australia
Quote:
He left school at 15, worked at a variety of jobs, and in 1839 signed on as a cabin boy on a ship bound for Liverpool, an experience reflected in his romance Redburn. In 1841–42 he spent 18 months on a whaler, but intolerable hardships on board caused him and a companion to escape from the ship at the Marquesas Islands. The two were captured by a tribe of cannibals, by whom they were well treated.
&
Quote:
Melville died in poverty and obscurity.

He had a hectic, colourful & tragic life. Boo hoo!

When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
Madas
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:27:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/26/2014
Posts: 164
Neurons: 2,161,071
Location: Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
Immitation is necessary for beginners. Originality develops later. Successful immitator may remain at his level forever. But he has more levers to promote his originality and comply with his failures.
TB Turtle
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:49:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2014
Posts: 492
Neurons: 4,068,781
Location: Portland, Maine, United States
MechPebbles is such a cute green creature. I would have loved to have met Melville's neighbor, Hawthorne.
Samba Diao
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:59:30 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/11/2014
Posts: 1
Neurons: 38
The importance is to be interested by what or who we ape. This is what we need for our success
DonLorenzo
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 7:54:16 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/11/2014
Posts: 1
Neurons: 3
Talent borrows, genius steals! Oscar Wilde.
Taxiarchis
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 9:33:51 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/28/2014
Posts: 17
Neurons: 102,606
...But can it at all be better to fail than to succeed?
striker
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 10:26:45 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/2014
Posts: 1,698
Neurons: 2,240,255
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States
be yourself and true to yourself
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 10:36:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/17/2009
Posts: 12,113
Neurons: 501,067
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Taxiarchis wrote:
...But can it at all be better to fail than to succeed?


A failed attempt at suicide is often better than success.

I remember, therefore I am.
Gary98
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 10:52:58 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/23/2014
Posts: 1,673
Neurons: 4,258,703
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Daemon wrote:
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)


Originality is overrated. You have to eat, drink and sleep as everyone else after all. Without us common folks, who would appreciate the little spark of your originality?
GreenBanana
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:09:54 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2013
Posts: 345
Neurons: 20,818
Says the guy with two fish stories.

Make every post as if it was the first one in the thread.
Joy Gomes
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:34:52 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 9/13/2014
Posts: 14
Neurons: 14,293
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
bravo!
Joy Gomes
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:36:57 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 9/13/2014
Posts: 14
Neurons: 14,293
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
jacobusmaximus wrote:
Taxiarchis wrote:
...But can it at all be better to fail than to succeed?


A failed attempt at suicide is often better than success.


But neither suicide nor survival are original. They're both mainstream
Joy Gomes
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:37:59 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 9/13/2014
Posts: 14
Neurons: 14,293
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Madas wrote:
Immitation is necessary for beginners. Originality develops later. Successful immitator may remain at his level forever. But he has more levers to promote his originality and comply with his failures.


BRAVISSIMO!
monamagda
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 1:05:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/4/2014
Posts: 7,138
Neurons: 5,207,711
Location: Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
The quote in context:
From: Hawthorne and His Mosses (1850)
Essay in The Literary World (August 17 & 24, 1850

"It is true, that but few of them as yet have evinced that decided originality which merits great praise. But that graceful writer, who perhaps of all Americans has received the most plaudits from his own country for his productions,--that very popular and amiable writer, however good, and self-reliant in many things, perhaps owes his chief reputation to the self-acknowledged imitation of a foreign model, and to the studied avoidance of all topics but smooth ones. But it is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said, that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers,--it is only to be added, that, in that case, he knows them to be small. Let us believe it, then, once for all, that there is no hope for us in these smooth pleasing writers that know their powers. Without malice, but to speak the plain fact, they but furnish an appendix to Goldsmith, and other English authors."

Full text online

http://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/nh/hahm.html
Joy Frohlich
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 1:44:55 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/19/2014
Posts: 301
Neurons: 240,520
Location: Remagen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Yes but Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Absurdicuss
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 2:24:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/8/2013
Posts: 2,871
Neurons: 29,776
Location: Jefferson, South Carolina, United States

"Ultimately, everything that is originates from something that once was. And all that ever could be funnels back
to a single non-contingent point of uncaused creative possibility." - Hepburn 11-11-14

There is nothing new under the sun. - Ecclesiastes





"Now" is the eternal present.
S. Miranda-Hess
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 6:20:01 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 8/22/2014
Posts: 109
Neurons: 42,315
Location: Socorro, New Mexico, United States
Haha, imitation has its uses, but I think the quote was referring to creative pursuits.
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 6:46:56 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/26/2014
Posts: 1,405
Neurons: 37,072
Location: Apache Junction, Arizona, United States
Great quote and one worth remembering; from a good man and a great author...
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 8:30:34 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/30/2010
Posts: 10,981
Neurons: 32,652
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." Samuel Beckett


( couldn't think of anything original... Angel )

Sanity is not statistical
Peter O'Connor - Dundalk
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:49:06 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/20/2014
Posts: 372
Neurons: 697,007
Location: Lismore, Munster, Ireland
Often by repeating someone else's success one can learn - lots!
Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 11:34:51 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/3/2012
Posts: 2,109
Neurons: 245,144
Daemon wrote:
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)



How can that be better? On one hand, to succeed in imitation is visibly certain--it replicates successfully something known.

On the other hand, the only thing certain about failing in originality is the failure--the originality will never be known or proven:
since the expected result was not materialized, the claim of it being original could well be just an excuse for failure.

Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.