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Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.


Nineteenth century[edit]

  • I can find Greece and Palestine and Italy and England and the Islands, the genius and creative principle of each and of all eras, in my own mind.
  • None of you knows what creativity means. To paint a picture, to write a poem? No! To recast one’s whole age, to impose upon it the stamp of one’s will, to fill it with beauty, to overwhelm it, to overpower it with one’s spirit.
  • … the republic of creative minds: each giant calling to his brother through the desolate intervals of time. And undisturbed by the wanton noises of the dwarfs that creep past beneath them, their high spirit-converse continues.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, Marianne Cowan trans., p. 32
  • I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.
    • Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own, ed. David Leopold (Cambridge: 1995), p. 7
  • I do not presuppose myself, because I am every moment just positing or creating myself, and am I only by being not presupposed but posited, and ... only in the moment when I posit myself; that is, I am creator and creature in one.
    • Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own (1844), S. Byington, trans. (Cambridge: 1995), p. 135

Twentieth century[edit]

  • My feeling is that as far as creativity is concerned, isolation is required. The creative person is, in any case, continually working at it. His mind is shuffling his information at all times, even when he is not conscious of it. The presence of others can only inhibit this process, since creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display.
  • Those who have read the Russian novelists Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn know how effective the debilitation can be which treats free actions as clinical abnormalities . … The possibility that such acts are the intentional projects of conscious men who are at once both demanding and expressing freedom is beyond the pale of conception. Thus are men robbed not only of their freedom but also of their dignity as creative human beings.
  • This is the eternal origin of art that a human being confronts a form that wants to become a work through him. Not a figment of his soul but something that appears to the soul and demands the soul’s creative power. What is required is a deed that a man does with his whole being.
    • Martin Buber, I and Thou, W. Kaufmann, trans. (1970), p. 60
  • In the best of cases, the philosopher is not simply one who ascends from the cave and perceives the sun. Rather, he is one who out of the depths of his own creativity becomes a new sun for mankind.
    • Bruce Detwiler, Nietzsche and the Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism, p. 29
  • Enjoyment of the work consists in participation in the creative state of the artist.
  • Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours.
    • Herman Hesse, Hermine in Steppenwolf (1927), B. Creighton, trans., (New York: 1990), p. 151
  • A creative life is an energetic life, and this is only possible in one or the other of these two situations: either being the one who rules, or finding oneself placed in a world which is ruled by someone in whom we recognize full right to such a function: either I rule or I obey. By obedience I do not mean mere submission—this is degradation—but on the contrary, respect for the ruler and acceptance of his leadership, solidarity with him, and enthusiastic enrollment under his banner.
  • In men of genius, sterile years precede productive years, these again to be followed by sterility, the barren periods being marked by psychological self-depreciation, by the feeling that they are less than other men; times in which the remembrance of the creative periods is a torment, and when they envy those who go about undisturbed by such penalties. Just as his moments of ecstasy are more poignant, so are the periods of depression of a man of genius more intense than those of other men.

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