About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
Take the whole range of imaginative literature, and we all are wholesale borrowers. In every matter that relates to invention, to use, or beauty or form, we are borrowers.
(Johnson) said, our judges had not gone deep in the question concerning literary property. I mentioned Lord Monboddo’s opinion, that if a man could get a work by heart, he might print it, as by such an act the mind is exercised. Johnson: “No, Sir; a man’s repeating it no more makes it his property, […]
I’d rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer; but – when someone has the wit to coin a useful word, it ought to be acclaimed and broadcast or it will perish.
The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed some from Socrates. I swiped some from Chesterfield. I stole some from Jesus, and I put them in a book. If you don’t like their ideas, whose would you use?
The immature artist imitates. The mature artist steals.
If we steal thoughts from the moderns, it will be cried down as plagiarism; if from the ancients, it will be cried up as erudition.
All our phrasings are spiritualized shadows cast multitudinously from our readings.
Receiving the invitation to write with Paul was very exciting, but not without its anxieties. I had always tried to be ingenious when borrowing ideas from Lennon and McCartney, but sometimes it’s a thin line between influence and larceny.
I know one thing – that a certain amount of pride always goes along with a teaspoonful of brains, and that this pride protects a man from deliberately stealing other people’s ideas. That is what a teaspoonful of brains will do for a man – and admirers had often told me I had nearly a […]