The original writer is not he who refrains from imitating others, but he who can be imitated by none.

[L’écrivain original n’est pas celui qui n’imite personne, mais celui que personne ne peut imiter.]

François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) French writer, politican, diplomat
The Genius of Christianity [Le génie du Christianisme], Part 2, Book 1, ch. 3 (1802)

Alternate translations:
  • "The original style is not the style which never borrows of any one, but that which no other person is capable of reproducing." [tr. White (1856)]
  • "An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate."
Added on 22-Apr-14 | Last updated 22-Apr-14
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