Originality sounds like a noble pursuit because all great thinkers appear to have been original. But is that true at all?
If more of us acknowledged that originality is a flawed and over-glorified concept, the more we would feel safe to create. Our job, our mission, is to improve the familiar.
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This is a great tool that lets you discover culture evolutions by looking at the words used in books since 1500. Try to type in the search box the word Originality to see how it became important around during the romantic movement in the 19th century. Try typing the terms “Originality, Authenticity, Writer’s block, and Romantic” to see how they relate chronologically (make sure your selected time period is 1500-1999 so you get a wider look).
Google NGram viewer